KARACHI: In a directionless market, patchy trading was seen all through the day. The KSE-100 index dropped by 83 points, or 0.17 per cent, to close at 47,346.

In early hours investors went into cherry-picking on the sectors that they thought could have created a stream of income due to relaxation in Covid lockdowns and growth in exports. The benefit could be reflected in the upcoming quarterly results. The KSE-100 index thus took off to a good start and reached intraday high by 236 points. With news flow being generally negative, mutual funds and broker proprietary trading reduced exposure, while foreign investors, banks, companies and individuals partially parted with their holdings to pull the index down to intraday low of 187 points.

On the political front, the prime minister was reported to have said that regional efforts were on to resolve the Afghan issue. He said that the civil war in the neighbouring country could affect Pakistan’s trade link with Central Asia.

Some restlessness was noticed in the internal political scene as the opposition looked to be re-grouping for another assault on the government. National Command and Operation Centre, the watchdog for the Covid-19, warned of serious re-imposition restrictions in the wake of serious violation of standard operation procedures.

The index succumbed to selling pressure in sectors including power, technology, refinery, textile, banks and fertilisers.

Among commercial banks HBL gained values. E&P sectors saw continued selling pressure in OGDC and PPL. Higher international oil prices triggered fear of inflationary pressures going forward. Cement sector performed well on reports of increase in cement price/ bag in the southern region.

The trading volume was up 9pc over the previous day but fell far short of the billion shares trading seen some time ago. Stocks that turned laggards on Tuesday included Hub Power, TRG, NRL, UNITY, and SNGP, which together wiped off 126 points from the index.

Published in Dawn, July 7th, 2021

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