KARACHI: After a day of sharp recovery, the stocks sank again on Wednesday with the KSE-100 index ceding 451 points, or 1.02 per cent, to close at 43,953.58 points. But the loss was entirely due to the foreign investors who moved out of stocks.

Foreign corporates sold shares worth a little over $10.8m.

Economists said that the foreigners flight was in anticipation of a further meltdown in global markets. The offshore corporates were also boggled by the IMF forecast of Pakistan’s economic growth at a subdued 1.5pc against 3pc growth projected by the SBP. The IMF also forecast higher rate of inflation, rising unemployment and wider current account deficit against the government’s target for the current fiscal year.

Other than that, all local participants were net buyers. Individuals bought shares worth $3.55m; mutual funds picked up stocks of $1.33m; banks bought shares of net $3.08m. Insurance companies and local corporates also took fresh positions. The index oscillated between the intraday high and low by 167 and 647 points, the sell-off mainly coming in the second half.

Banks and fertilisers were the major laggards where HBL lost 2.8pc, Engro 2.3pc, BAHL 4.3pc, FFC 2.1pc and UBL 2.4pc closed in the red. E&P, automobile assemblers and power sectors also remained under selling pressure.

Cement sector did well early in the day but succumbed to selling pressure later, near closing time. Stocks that contributed negatively included HBL (55 points), Engro (52 points), BAHL (46 points), OGDC (44 points) and FFC (35 points).

Technology and refinery stocks turned in mixed performance. Yet the investors’ sentiments were dampened by the much-watched technology stock Netsol closing at lower circuit.

The traded volume increased 21pc over the previous day to 371m shares, while the traded value was up 26pc to $132.8m.

TRG, DSL, ANL, GGL and TELE contributed 33pc to the total turnover.

Published in Dawn, April 8th, 2021

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