KARACHI: Stocks fell for fourth straight day on Thursday when the KSE-100 index conceded 54.33 points (0.13 per cent) and settled at 42,506.94.

Trading started out on a positive note on reports that the Financial Action Task Force working group which was in talks with the Pakistan delegation in Beijing had expressed satisfaction over reports submitted by the country.

Oil & gas stocks were lead gainers in early trade as the Privatisation Commission had refuted rumours of sale of 7pc government-held stocks in Oil and Gas Deve­lop­­ment Company in the secondary market at discount.

The decline in international prices crumbled stocks in the oil and gas chain, including refineries and marketing companies. All of that wiped off the earlier gains and pushed the index to intraday low by 122 points. Market managed minor recovery before the close.

Cement turned green on expectations of manufacturers agreeing to a hike in prices in the North, which saw the index surge to intraday high by 345 points. However, the producers’ deliberations ended without a decision which saw pull back in prices of stocks across the sector.

Individuals were the major sellers but liquidity was wiped out by companies. The volume increased 30pc to 230.8 million shares, from 178m shares. Traded value rose by 5pc to reach $63.2m from $60.1m. Stocks that contributed significantly included Maple Leaf Cement, Worldcall, Fauji Cement, DG Khan Cement and Bank of Punjab, which formed 36pc of total turnover.

Sector-wise, chemicals, banks and tobacco were the major movers. In banking, Habib Bank, higher by 0.9pc, Bank Alfalah 0.8pc, National Bank 0.2pc, MCB 0.2pc closed in green. Other leading gainers were Colgate-Palmolive at 5.47pc and Engro Fertiliser 1.03pc.

On the flip side, stocks that eroded values included Pakistan Tobacco, decreasing by 5.35pc, Lucky Cement 1.01pc, Hub Power 0.61pc, and OGDC 0.58pc.

Published in Dawn, January 24th, 2020