KARACHI: Stocks snapped the three-day winning streak on Thursday when the KSE-100 index plunged by 337 points (0.81 per cent) at 41,199.

The session was altogether volatile with choppy trades and smaller investor participation.

The market took off on a positive note on the momentum generated in the last three sessions as the index opened in the positive by 50 points and added 282 points to intra-day high as investors’ sentiments were still elated by the current account surplus of the country for the third month in a row.

But later, the meltdown in global equity markets and drop in international oil prices spilled over into local market. Weak investors also were disinclined to take positions forward with uncertainty deepening on the political front on louder voices of government and the opposition trading accusations over the unfortunate incident early in the week.

Although most analysts took a ‘neutral’ stance on the Financial Action Task Force decision to be unveiled after trading hours on Friday with Pakistan status most likely to be retained in the grey list, investors could not contain their nervousness.

Analysts at Arif Habib Ltd asked investors to keep their calm as they believed that “rather than any negative development on the economic or political front, the profit taking on Thursday was largely an outcome of risk taking at the beginning of the week that saw the index surge in the earlier in the week”.

Traders said that investors also trod cautiously as the results season was progressing with more big ticket corporates to unveil figures in the next few days. As the profit booking took hold across the board, the index hit intra-day low by 448 points in the lead of oil stocks where exploration and production sector saw erosion of 110 points.

Volumes declined from 661.3 million shares to 500.1m shares, down 25pc day on day. Traded value also dropped by 21pc to reach $106.9m.

Among scrips, major laggards were Hub Power Company Ltd, down 4pc, Oil and Gas Development Company Ltd 2.7pc, Pakistan Petroleum Ltd 2.5pc, Habib Bank Ltd 0.4pc, Pakistan Oilfields Ltd 1.9pc, MCB Bank Ltd 1.0pc and Bank Al Falah Ltd 3.4pc.

Published in Dawn, October 23rd, 2020