KARACHI: The stock market remained in search of direction on Friday as the euphoria witnessed on Thursday was all but gone. The KSE-100 index fell by 100.61 points, or 0.22 per cent, to 45,865.02.

The major selling came from ‘’brokers proprietary trading’’ in the sum of $1m. Insurance companies also decided to take profit ahead of the weekend.

Cherry-picking was witnessed by foreign investors, individuals and mutual funds.

The market opened in the green and chugged along with the high-priced scrips coming under immediate selling pressure. Auto­mobile, technology and E&P shares turned red. The investors did not seem to take the FATF plenary meeting report which was held by the watchdog between Feb 22-22, in their stride although FATF did appreciate the progress made on the action plan and declared that the country had largely addressed 24 of the 27 targets.

The FATF nonetheless postponed the deadline till June to comply with the remaining three to take Pakistan off the hook of grey listing.

Other than that investors moved cautiously as Friday was the last day of the roll-over week. Local politics were getting noisy while the mid-day news of the US having carried out strikes in Syria was also a sentiment dampener. Analyst Ahsan Mehanti commented that weak global equities, slump in international oil prices and likely IMF condition for revision of power tariff for industries played a catalyst role for the bearish close.

The major scrips that dragged the index down by a cumulative 128 points included OGDC, TRG and Colgate Palmolive, while the big gainers for the day were Lucky Cement, Habib Bank and Searle Ltd, which cumulatively added 112.5 points to the index.

The trading volume stood at 480m shares up from 469m shares a day earlier and the value also improved to Rs26bn, from Rs23bn.

Published in Dawn, February 27th, 2021

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