KARACHI: In order to recoup Monday’s losses, the market opened positive on the second day of the trading week and the KSE-100 index climbed to intraday high by 218 points.

But the index could not sustain the level and cracked under selling pressure mainly by individuals and brokers’ proprietary trading. While institutions, mutual funds and foreigners kept their sangfroid, weak holders and short-term investors jettisoned holdings, nervous over the negative news flow.

During trading, it hit intraday low by 409 points, but managed to claw back to end the day with loss of 121.15 points (0.28 per cent) at 42,626.47.

The market remained in the grip of uncertainty as the outcome of the Financial Action Task Force’s working group meeting in Beijing followed by a review in Feb­ru­ary to decide about Pakistan’s grey list status were thought to be major issues that could have an impact.

Moreover, predictions of a massive rise in CPI inflation for January, kept investors at bay. Participants also decided to wait for the upcoming monetary policy. On the positive side, the market was encouraged in early trade by the Economic Coordination Committee meeting a day ago in which approval was given to raise Rs200 billion for Pakistan Energy Sukuk-II. It was thought to be a major development in settling part of the perennial ­circular debts in the energy sector.

The volume increased 2pc to 177.6 million while the traded value declined 4pc to reach $44.1m. Sector-wise, cement, steel, exploration and production and refinery faced selling pressure while banks and power saw price gains.

Scrips that dragged the index down included Engro Corporation, decreasing by 3.60pc, Engro Fertilisers 3.77pc, Fauji Fertiliser 1.11pc, Habib Bank 0.32pc, Pakistan Petroleum 0.36pc and Jubilee Life 4.75pc. On the flip side, Dawood Hercules, higher by 2.97pc, Hub Power 1.25pc, Meezan Bank 1.20pc, United Bank 0.46pc and Pakistan State Oil 0.82pc recorded ­limited gains.

Published in Dawn, January 22nd, 2020