KARACHI: Regular investors in equities know that it is almost impossible to ‘second-guess’ the market. It did not therefore surprise many when the market opened positive on Friday and after a dull and drab trading during almost all of the week. The KSE-100 index gained 206 points, or 0.43 per cent, and closed the second session at 47,834 points.
Investor participation was low as 349m shares of the value of Rs14.6 billion came up for trading, down 31pc from 506m shares worth Rs15.5bn that changed hands a day ago. Insurance companies were the principal buyers who re-located their portfolio before the advent of the result season and were the leading buyers of scrips worth $7.91m. Individuals trimmed their holdings by $4.22m as most felt that it was prudent to err on the side of caution.
The biggest worry on the minds of investors was the spike in coronavirus cases. It was indicated by NCOC head Asad Umar that around 88pc of new Covid cases in Pakistan were in those who were not vaccinated.
The Sindh government had already initiated a host of measures effective on Friday including closure of indoor dining and cinemas, beaches, inland tourist resorts as well as schools from Class 1-8. The upcoming corporate results, the Eid holidays, volatile situation in Afghanistan and the roll-over week presented more uncertainties. Investors were also peeved at the increase in petrol prices by Rs5.40 a litre.
Among scrips, Lucky Cement leapt forward as the company announced collaboration with Samsung. Technology sector also contributed positively to the index, with Systems and AVN hitting upper circuits. Sector wise banks, textile, cement, steel traded in the positive zone.
E&P sector saw a dip in POL, following weakness in international crude oil prices. Stocks that contributed positively to the index included Lucky Cement (59 points), System Ltd (47 points), HBL (27 points), UBL (17 points) and BAFL (13 points). Stocks that pulled down the index were POL (19 points), PSX (9 points), Engro Corp (8 points), PSO (6 points) and Mari Petroleum (5 points).
Published in Dawn, July 17th, 2021