Stocks lose 93 points in range-bound trading

Updated February 21, 2020

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The stock market rally seen the previous day fizzled out on Thursday when the KSE-100 index fell 92.87 points (0.23 per cent) and closed at 40,481.65 as investors decided to book profit. — AFP/File
The stock market rally seen the previous day fizzled out on Thursday when the KSE-100 index fell 92.87 points (0.23 per cent) and closed at 40,481.65 as investors decided to book profit. — AFP/File

KARACHI: The stock market rally seen the previous day fizzled out on Thursday when the KSE-100 index fell 92.87 points (0.23 per cent) and closed at 40,481.65 as investors decided to book profit.

Trading remained range-bound due to lack of positive triggers. Investors held on to cash awaiting the Financial Action Task Force’s decision before taking fresh positions as traders thought that the international anti-money laundering and terror financing watchdog would at worst let Pakistan stay in the grey list and at best ease it out into the white list.

Investors remained eager to know if the decision could be expected in the evening on Thursday or over the weekend.

The market opened positive and built up on the momentum of the rally seen the previous day. As trading progressed, short-term investors and punters entered into quick bouts of buying and selling which saw the index scramble itself to balance between intraday high and low by 122 and 129 points. The financial results are slowly trickling out as the season progresses.

Foreign selling slowed down to $1.36 million which was mopped up by insurance companies that bought shares valued at $1.35m. The volume dipped 22pc to 112m shares while traded value also declined 28pc to reach $30.6m. Stocks that contributed significantly included Hascol Petroleum, Bank pf Punjab, DG Khan Cement, Unity Foods and Maple Leaf, which formed 35pc of total turnover.

Sector-wise, the entire oil chain, comprising exploration and prodcution, refineries and oil marketing companies succumbed to selling pressure despite the spike in crude prices in the international market. Stocks also tumbled in cement and steel.

Among scrips, major laggards were Habib Bank, lower by 1.65pc, Oil and Gas Development Company 0.91pc, MCB 0.75pc, Pakistan Petroleum 0.68pc, Engro Corporation 0.51pc and Engro Fertiliser 1.31pc. On the flip side, gainers were United Bank, higher by 1.85pc, Colgate-Palm­olive 4.82pc, Bank Al Habib 0.97pc, Packages Ltd 6.50pc and IGI Holdings 6.50pc.

Published in Dawn, February 21st, 2020