KARACHI: Activity at the stock market remained dull on Tuesday which caused the KSE-100 index to move in directionless trade. After oscillating between the intraday high and low by 142 and 81 points, the index settled in the red.

Although down by just 25 points, the index could not keep its head above the 48,000 resistance level and closed at 47,987 points.

Investors were overwhelmed by the feverish discussion on the ongoing FATF plenary meeting and the final announcement on June 25 that would decide if the country is to be let off the hook of grey list.

Moreover, the ongoing roll-over week kept the index range-bound as investors thought it fit to wait before taking fresh positions. Reports of Pakistan’s trade deficit widening from $21.07bn to $27.46bn (30pc year-on-year) in 11MFY21, did no good to investor sentiments.

Among participants, banks, companies and individuals picked up stocks at dips, while insurance companies, broker proprietary trading and mutual funds decided to take profit and move to the sidelines. Foreign selling slowed down on Tuesday.

Sector-wise, selling pressure was mainly borne by the banking, cement, steel, E&Ps and power sectors. Textile composite sector saw several stocks gain values as investors reckoned that they would benefit in exports on the devaluation of the rupee in the interbank market.

Gadoon Textile and ANL hit the upper circuit while the largest in the sector Nishat Mills and Nishat Chunian closed higher. The increase in international oil prices, nonetheless, failed to move the E&P shares.

Major laggards included Pak Services, Dawood Hercules, NBP and OGDC. Major positive contributors to the index were: Systems, Sanofi-Aventis and Mari Petroleum.

The trading volume declined 27pc over the previous day to 611m shares. The traded value also dropped 2pc to $98.1m as against $100.5m. Stocks that contributed significantly to the volumes included SILK, WTL, KEL, ANL and TPL, which formed 37pc of day’s turnover.

Published in Dawn, July 23rd, 2021

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