KARACHI: Stocks ex­­tended the previous week’s bearish spell on Monday, recording a fall of 114 points or 0.35 per cent to close at 47,447 points. During the day, the index traded between intra-day high and low by 152 and 156 points.

Profit-taking of $2.38 million was seen mainly from the broker proprietary trading while insurance companies picked up shares of $2.06m to add to the new financial year portfolio.

Sectors that saw major profit booking included Cement (-38 points), Technology (-23 points), Power (-15 points), Banks (-11 points) and E&P (-10 points) while stocks that dragged the Index down included TRG (-17 points), LUCK (-17 points), BAHL (-16 points), NESTLE (-11 points) and CHCC (-11 points). Conversely, the bullish shares were UNITY (+20 points), PSX (+20 points), MCB (+14 points), PAKT (+13 points) and HBL (+6 points).

Investors remain worried about the Covid-19 situation in the country, with the national positivity ratio increasing to 3.79pc. Breeding grounds are proving to be massive pre-election rallies in Azad Jammu & Kashmir and the people crowding at animal markets ahead of Eidul Azha. Health experts fear an increase in coronavirus cases. Meanwhile, institutional investors have decided not to go long at the current moment as Afghanistan’s internal situation remains fluid with repercussions unavoidable in Pakistan.

Widening current account deficit was worrisome as well as the declining rupee parity with the dollar and the sharp spurt in the international oil prices over the last several days. Investors await the fourth quarter FY21 results; any surprises in respect of earnings and dividends particularly on the cyclical could provide support to investor sentiments.

Investor participation diminished. Traded volumes declined 6pc from the previous session’s 505.9m shares to 474.9m shares on Monday. WorldCall was the volume leader with 71m shares changing hands. Average traded value also decreased by 6pc to reach $90.3m from shares worth $ 96.5m traded last Friday.

Published in Dawn, July 13th, 2021

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