KARACHI: Stocks drifted lower on the last trading day of the week in the absence of triggers that could carry the market forward. The benchmark index was down by 116.42 points, or 0.25 per cent, to close at 45,868.04 on Friday.
Profit-taking took hold at the start of the second session which was so intense that the index drifted deep into the red. The index stabilised in the last half hour after a range-bound movement between intraday high and low by 132 and 294 points.
The State Bank of Pakistan unveiled the Monetary Policy Statement in the evening, keeping the policy rate unchanged at 7pc, which was in line with consensus forecast.
Profit-taking brought down the E&P sector by 51 points; fertiliser 21 points; oil 51 points; technology 19 points; oil and gas marketing companies 16 points and power sector 13 points.
Stocks that contributed positively to the index included Systems (21 points), KTML (15 points), FABL (13 points), FFBL (12 points) and INIL (11 points). Stocks that contributed negatively included TRG (40 points), Engro (16 points), MARI (16 points), PPL (14 points) and OGDC (14 points).
Analyst Ahsan Mehanti observed that the stocks closed lower in the earnings reporting season on slump in global stocks and crude oil prices. Investor concerns over current account deficit in December, rising circular debt and recent hike in power tariff for industries played a catalyst role for a bearish close.
The traded volume declined 29pc over the previous day to 430.6m shares and the traded value also fell 12pc to Rs15.8bn. K-Electric took top slot in terms of number of shares traded at 54m shares.
Mixed sentiments were noted in the cement sector where Pioneer, Power, Maple Leaf closed in the green while Lucky, Cherat, D.G Khan and Kohat Cement lost values.
All three major scrips on the E&P sector: Pakistan Oilfields, Pakistan Petroleum and OGDC came under pressure as oil prices plummeted in the international market on China’s surging Covid-19 cases which triggered lockdowns.
Published in Dawn, January 23rd, 2021