KARACHI: The stock market closed flat on Wednesday with the KSE-100 index clawing up by mere 44.27 points (0.11 per cent) to reach 41,119.32.

Investors displayed total lack of interest represented by low participation. The one-day celebration of the discovery of an effective Covid-19 vaccine was all but over as investors were spooked over the second wave of pandemic which finally prompted the government to clamp lock downs in several cities. The political temperatures were rising with only four days remaining to the vital elections in Gilgit Baltistan. The crowded rallies of political parties provided a perfect breeding ground for the Covid-19.

The host of uncertainties forced the index to remain volatile throughout the session, swinging between the intra-day high and low by 177 and 253 points. Analysts at Arif Habib Ltd said the international crude oil prices, which jumped 3.5pc helped exploration & production sector to post hefty price gains. “However, market’s fear of unknown that emanates from developing political wrangling bet­ween the opposition and the incumbent government kept the increase in index in check”.

Cement sector stocks saw selling pressure on the expectation of decline in monthly dispatches based on the first week of November. Cherat, Maple Leaf, D.G. Khan; Lucky, Pioneer and Fauji Cement were the major losers. Cyclical steel sector also did not fare well.

Fertiliser, oil & gas marketing companies and bank­­ing sector stocks remained subdued due to lack of investor interest.

Foreign outflows amounted to $2.08 million while local participants traded mixed in marginal amounts. Volumes declined 31pc over the previous day to 244.3m shares while the traded value dived by 43pc to reach $54.6m.

Stocks that contributed significantly to the volumes include BIPL, TRG Pakis­tan, K-Electric, Al-Shaheer Corporation and Power Cement, which formed 42pc of total volumes.

In the E&P sector Pakistan Oilfields Ltd, Pakistan Petroleum Ltd and Oil and Gas Develop­ment Company remained strong and prevented Index from further fall.

Published in Dawn, November 12th, 2020