KARACHI: Stocks rebou­nded on Friday as the bulls managed to gain a thin lead following a full day of cho­p­py trade. The KSE-100 ind­ex recovered 29.41 points (0.08 per cent) and closed at 37,607.62.

After massive plunge a day before the benchmark opened in the red by 16 poi­nts and continued to descend reaching intraday low by 319 points.

The bulls managed to stage a comeback in second half of the day, as investor sentiments received a boost by better-than-expected fin­a­­­n­cial results announced by Habib Bank. That sent the index scurrying up to intraday high by 285 points and turned the tide in the entire banking sector where a rally was witnessed in shares of United, Bank of Punjab, Al Habib and MCB.

Foreign selling continued with an outflow of $1.37 million. Among local participants, support to the market was provided by weekend buying by insurance and indi­viduals. The volume, however, declined further 30pc from 379.3m shares to 266.5m while traded value also stood down by 24pc to $63.9m, as against $84.2m the previous day. Stocks that contributed significantly included Unity Foods, K-Electric, Fauji Fertiliser Bin Qasim, Hascol Petroleum and TRG, which formed 31pc of total turnover.

Selling pressure remained on cement for the second day where major shares dipped into the red. Lucky, Fauji, Cherat and Maple Leaf all lost values. Sector-wise positive contribution to the index was made by banks, higher by 217 points, and investment banks 21 points. On the flip side, drag came from exploration and production, lower by 55 points, cement 48 points, power 38 points, oil and gas marketing companies 27 points.

Scrip-wise, stocks that brou­ght about a halt to the index fall and turned the tide included Habib, United and Bank Alfalah as they cumulatively contributed 150 points. On the flip side, Hub Power, Lucky Cement and Oil and Gas Development Company were the major laggards that brought down the benchmark by 75 points.

Published in Dawn, July 25th, 2020