KARACHI: Stocks re­­mained almost unchanged on Tuesday as the KSE-100 index closed with a tiny gain of 33.42 points, or 0.07 per cent, to close at 47,481. The index floated aimlessly between intraday high and low by 139 and 7 points.

As the government continues to warn people against the new wave of Coronavirus, the fear has gripped the market as well. On Monday, the Special Assistant to the PM on Health hinted that the armed forces might be dep­loyed for implementation of the Covid-related standard operating procedures (SOPs). He also said that smart lockdown would be enforced across the country. Investors translated that to mean production losses as industrial and trading activities would inevitably be curbed.

In a market-related move individuals, mainly short-term investors, maintained a cautious approach in building positions as the Capital Gains Tax liability is due to be settled by the middle of the month.

More anticipatory profit-booking was anticipated in the next two days by participants other than corporate and institutional investors.

Among positive news flow, Pakistani workers remittances for June clocked in at $2.69bn, up 9pc year-on-year. Sector-wise technology led with contribution of 36 points to the index. Technology stock Netsol hit the upper circuit. Power sector remained under pressure due to concerns over Petroleum Division’s stance on payments to IPPs under Power Policy of 2002.

Other comparatively better performing sectors included banks (17 points) and fertiliser (13 points). Stocks that contributed positively to the index included PSX (21 points), Systems Ltd (18 points), TRG (16 points), BAHL (16 points) and CEPB (8 points).

Low participation in trading was seen by both the individual and institutional investors. Traders said volumes could remain at Tuesday’s level of around 500m shares until Eid holidays. Average traded value increased by 13pc over the previous session to reach $101.8m. Stocks that contributed significantly to the volumes were WTL, GGGL, TPL, FFL and TPLP, which formed 32pc of the total turnover.

Published in Dawn, July 14th, 2021

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