KARACHI: The stock market lost its bullish fervour on Tuesday where by the end of the day, the KSE-100 index had sunk by 392 points or 0.90 per cent to settle at 43,283.
The KSE-100 index opened in the positive extending the earlier day’s gains. It rose to intra-day high by 238 points, but by mid-day the index succumbed to selling pressure as the second- and third-tier favourites on the cement, steel and technology sectors were assessed as overbought since most of them had reached their 52-week high.
Analysts at Arif Habib Ltd said: “The market was dominated by mark-to-market activity by institutions (as Tuesday’s settlement falls on Dec 31) as well as partly due to profit booking”. Investors were said to have resorted to profit booking in exploration & production, banks, cement, power and fertiliser sectors in the hope of buying back on lower rates.
Analyst Ahsan Mehanti observed that unrelenting foreign selling, surging power tariff, gas shortfall for industrial sector and investor concerns over ongoing political uncertainty played a catalyst role for bearish close. Although the Covid-19 cases had receded in the last few days, Pakistan reported the first confirmed case of a new and more contagious variant of the virus detected in the UK.
It weighed upon investor sentiments who wondered over another round of lockdowns and shutdowns that could dampen business and industrial activity and dent corporate profitability.
Traded volumes saw an uptick of 8.1pc over the previous day to 503 million shares, while the value traded rose 11pc to Rs20.96 billion. The volume leader for the day was Unity, in which 41.3m shares changed hands.
Scrips that dragged the index down included Habib Bank Ltd down 63 points, MCB Bank Ltd 42 points, Hub Power Company 42 points, United Bank Ltd 38 points and Engro Corporation 35 points, which together took a toll of 220 points.
Published in Dawn, December 30th, 2020