KARACHI: Stock market remained lacklustre on Monday as investors showed little interest in trading considering that it would be a shortened week of two days of business with market to remain closed from Tuesday to Thursday due to Haj and Eid holidays.

The KSE-100 index closed flat with a nominal gain of 39 points, or 0.08 per cent, at 47,873. The risk-averse individuals opted to close their positions while institutional investors also decided against going long as the authorities warned of fourth wave of Covid already mounting to unmanageable level.

Trading slowed down mid-day after a firm start, which reduced the volume for the day by 9pc over the previous session to 321m shares.

Index reached intraday high of 172 points and for a brief moment stepped across the 48,000 level at 48,005 on account of buying in textile, chemical, E&P and technology sectors. The SNGPL and SSGC hit their upper circuits. Profit booking was seen in cements, fertilisers and banking sectors which pulled the index to intraday low by 82 points.

The politically charged atmosphere in Azad Kash­mir in the run-up to the elections, Afghan situation and its fallout on Pakistan were disconcerting. The dollar interbank rate reached highest level in the last seven months, which traders and businessmen feared to throw their calculations of sales and earnings in disarray. Most market men thought it wiser to stay liquid ahead of the start of earnings season after Eid holidays.

Sectors-wise gainers were miscellaneous (33 points), O&GMCs (29 points), banks (18 points) and autos (10 points). The spike in international coal prices continued to keep cement sector subdued. Stocks that contributed positively to the index included PSEL (33 points), SNGP (25 points), MEBL (12 points), FFC (11 points) and SSGC (8 points) while shares that lost values on Monday included Lucky Cement (-22pts), TRG (21 points), Engro (12 points), HBL (10 points) and BAFL (8 points). Byco share topped the volumes leaders list with change of hands in 24.2m shares.

Published in Dawn, July 20th, 2021

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