KARACHI: The positive start to the market which shot up to intraday high by 130 points proved elusive as the index succumbed to immense selling pressure later in the session.
The KSE-100 index closed with a loss of 400.49 points (0.95 per cent) below the 42,000-level at 41,898.70. Intraday, the benchmark tanked by 508 points.
Although widely anticipated, the State Bank decision to leave the policy rate unchanged was not well received by the market where leveraged sectors such as cement and steel went on a free-fall.
The market was perturbed by the mention of short-term inflation and shortfall in agricultural output by SBP governor. Moreover, as was expected the financial results announcement contributed to set the direction of the market. At the start of trading, Fauji Fertiliser Bin Qasim (FFBL) posted results which were poorer than anticipated causing its share to dip to lower circuit.
Foreign investors’ sell-off which, major spoiler a day ago, slowed down to just $0.38 million allying fears of any mass exit. Insurance companies sold equity worth $3.45m. But much of the liquidity was absorbed by individuals who bought value stocks of $5.07m, at dips.
The volume increased by 4pc to reach 197.1m shares while traded value rose 10pc to reach $47.9m. Stocks that contributed significantly include Worldcall, Hascol Petroleum, Maple Leaf Cement, K-Electric and FFBL.
Sector-wise, exploration and production and oil and gas marketing companies showed some recovery from recent declines on the back of slight improvement in international crude oil prices.
Stocks in the cement sector that recorded sharp falls were Maple Leaf, decreasing by 3pc, Cherat 2.4pc, Pioneer 2.4pc, Lucky 2.7pc and Fauji 2.2pc.
Major scrips that dragged down the Index included Habib Bank, lower by 2.3pc, MCB 2.2pc, United Bank 1.6pc, Engro Corporation 1.1pc, Hub Power 1.1pc and Dawood Hercules 1.7pc.
Published in Dawn, January 30th, 2020