Stocks shed 101 points on economic concerns

Updated February 19, 2020

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The stock market kept the downward trend for the second day this week with the KSE-100 index declining by 101.58 points (0.25 per cent) to settle at 40,175.35. — AFP/File
The stock market kept the downward trend for the second day this week with the KSE-100 index declining by 101.58 points (0.25 per cent) to settle at 40,175.35. — AFP/File

KARACHI: The stock market kept the downward trend for the second day this week with the KSE-100 index declining by 101.58 points (0.25 per cent) to settle at 40,175.35.

The index made intraday high and low by 324 points and 211 points. The market came to life in the last hour when it plunged after the Pakistan State Oil unveiled its financial results. Although the numbers were in line with expectations, investors were perhaps peeved at a nil dividend which saw the company stock spiral downwards. The share in heavyweight oil marketing company dragged the entire market down.

But apart from that, investors were disinclined to take fresh positions on macroeconomic concerns. Investors were also worried over the outcome of the Financial Action Task Force’s ongoing plenary meeting in Paris to decide on Pakistan status. Market sources suggested the verdict of taking off the country out of the grey list would be announced on Friday.

The volume declined further to 92 million shares, from 100m, representing a 5-month low while traded value improved by 11pc to Rs.4.9 billion, from Rs4.4bn. Unity Foods was leader for the second consecutive day, followed by Habib Bank, Pakistan State Oil, Lotte Chemical, OGDC and DG Khan Cement.

On the gaining side, HBL saw strong investor interest for the second day though initial gains were trimmed just close to the trading time. The bank has been in the spotlight after it notified the closure of its New York branch by next month. In fertiliser, Fauji was buoyant ahead of the Supreme Court’s verdict on the Gas Infrastructure Develo­pment Cess issue.

Scrip-wise, PSO dipped 4.9pc, Pakistan Petroleum 1.2pc, Bank Al Habib 0.8pc, Lucky Cement 0.5pc and Bank Alfalah 1.4pc, cumulatively dragging by 92 points. On the flip side, buying interest was seen in HBL, up 1.6pc, OGDC 2pc, MCB 1.2pc and Fauji Fertiliser 1.1pc.

Published in Dawn, February 19th, 2020