KARACHI: Stocks remained volatile in the last session before the six-day Eid holidays. Investors engaged in quick bouts of buying and selling but the profit-takers finally won over the value-buyers as there was more of a nervousness on holding large positions.
The KSE-100 index lost 96 points (0.3 per cent) and closed at 33,837. Unadjusted decline at the close stood at just 18 points since much of the sell-off was seen in the last 15 minutes of trading time.
During the day, the benchmark moved between the intraday high and low by 116 points and 175 points. Analyst Ahsan Mehanti said that the foreign outflows, dismal data of $572 million current account deficit in April, drop in exports and remittances played the catalyst role in bearish close.
All four stocks in the exploration and production attracted buyers as international oil prices continue to recover. Pakistan Petroleum, Oil and Gas Development Company, Pakistan Oilfields and Mari Petroleum closed higher. Cement shares were mainly weak while the banking sector also fell prey to the selling pressure, in the wake of recent notification by Moody’s for rating downgrade.
Foreigners sold equity worth $1.80m while individuals were major buyers of shares valued at $3.25m. The volume declined 11pc over the previous day to 147.2m shares whereas traded value also fell 15pc to $36.4m.
Sectors that contributed most points in dragging the index down included oil and gas marketing companies, lower by 32 points, cement 31 points, banks 27 points, autos 13 points and textiles 11 points.
Meanwhile, scrips that succumbed to selling pressure included United, down 0.2pc, MCB 0.6pc, Bank of Punjab 1.5pc, Alfalah 0.4pc among banks and DG Khan 2.7pc, Maple Leaf 2pc, Lucky 1pc and Fauji 0.6pc in cements.
Market will remain closed from May 22-27 due to Juma-tul-Wida and Eid-ul-Fitr holidays.
Published in Dawn, May 22nd, 2020