KARACHI: Stocks plunged on Tuesday with the KSE-100 index recording a sizeable loss of 240.04 points (0.56 per cent) and settling at 42,299.19.
The market presented a depressing picture, opening in the negative and sinking all the way to intraday low by 386 points without once lifting to the green. A trader pointed out that from its high of 43,468.48 on Jan 14, the benchmark had dropped 1,169 points.
Absence of firm positive triggers; agonising wait for the monetary policy due in the evening; anticipation of a higher-than-expected inflation and the pressures of rollover week, all combined to create a bearish spell in the market.
The local market also took cue from the global stocks and commodities which reeled from the outbreak of NCV in China Market. The declining international oil prices also hit the energy stocks.
But the figures released by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan in the evening did not betray lack of interest from local participants. They showed that the market decline was almost solely due to foreigners who sold stocks worth $3.87 million while all local participants, save the companies, were net buyers.
The volume decreased 5pc over the earlier day to 189m shares. Maple Leaf for the second consecutive day led the volume with 30m shares changing hands. Other leaders were Hascol Petroleum, Unity Foods, DG Khan and Cherat Cement. Traded value, however, increased by 2pc to reach $43.4m.
Sector-wise, banks, exploration and production and fertilisers were avoided by the investors. Major losers for the day were Habib Bank, lower by 1.2pc, MCB 1.3pc, Pakistan Petroleum 1pc, Dawood Hercules 1.7pc, Engro Corporation 0.7pc and Fauji Fertiliser 1pc, dragging index down by 135 points.
Cement continued to fare well with gains in Kohat, Maple Leaf, Cherat and DG Khan while Pioneer, Fauji and Lucky ended with losses.
Published in Dawn, January 29th, 2020