KARACHI: Bears continued to prowl the stock market also on the last trading day of the week, as the KSE-100 index declined by another 103.70 points (0.27 per cent) and closed at 37,984.
The drop came in the second half of the session as market showed signs of recovery in early trade. It opened positive and with fresh buying again mainly from the insurance companies of stocks worth $6.14 million, the index climbed to intraday high by 220 points.
But another wave of heavy sell-off by foreigners in the sum of $6.18m pulled index in the red to show intraday high decline by 329 points. Mutual funds and companies covered their positions while individuals were disinclined to carry over the weekend.
Positive news was the completion of the second review and agreement with the International Monetary Fund to release the third tranche worth $450m under the $6 billion Extended Fund Facility. It dispelled the impression that staff level talks had remained inconclusive. Investors also heaved a sign of relief as no new cases of coronavirus were reported in the country.
The volume increased 36pc to 201.6m shares while the traded value jumped by 23pc to reach $55.7m. Cement sector again carried the day with most scrips finishing on the upside. Banking scrips generally faced selling with National Bank hitting lower circuit. Continuous slide in international crude prices kept the exploration and production, oil marketing companies and refinery sector under pressure. Scrip-wise, major losers were Pakistan Petroleum, lower by 2.70pc, Oil and Gas Development Company 2.38pc, Pakistan Oilfields 2.89pc, Mari Petroleum 1.86pc, Habib Bank 1.78pc, MCB 1.94pc, National Bank 6.50pc and Bank Al Habib 1.39pc. The declining issues were offset by gains in Engro Corporation, up 1.86pc, Lucky Cement 2.55pc, Fauji Fertiliser 1.14pc, Dawood Hercules 1.22pc and Cherat Cement 6.49pc
Published in Dawn, February 29th, 2020