KARACHI: With the KSE-100 index plummeting a day earlier, the steep drop also in early hours on Thursday prepared investors to endure another day of bloodbath. But after a seesaw day, the index closed flat with a minor bruise of 5.70 points, or 0.01 per cent, at 47,312.

Early on the index tumbled to intraday low of 362 points to briefly breach the 47,000 points level as investors ran for cover following the Sindh government’s reporter plans of a lockdown in Karachi as the Covid positivity ratio had reached 30pc.

However, National Command and Operation Centre chief Asad Umar intervened in the second half saying that “closing down entire cities for weeks was not the solution to curb the spread of the disease,” which put life back into the market as the index rose to cover almost all the lost ground.

Strong corporate earnings announced by Engro Fertilisers; Honda Atlas (Cars); Fauji Fertiliser Bin Qasim and Wyeth Pakistan encouraged investors to put money in growth and dividend-yielding shares.

Banks and mutual funds made some covering purchases while foreign investors and individuals decided to err on the side of caution as death toll from Covid touched a record 44 for the second day in Sindh. Power and Technology sectors saw selling pressure. The falling market and the rollover week enticed investors to sell in the ready market and buy futures.

Sector-wise refineries, automobile, fertiliser and investment banks together added 48 point to the index. Refineries came in the limelight where NRL and ATRL gained on murmurs resurfacing of a new policy. Cements continued to receive heavy beatings. Stocks that contributed positively to the index included Thal Ltd, Engro Fertilisers, Lucky Cement and Dawood Hercules.

Scrips that pulled down the index included HBL, UBL and Pak Suzuki.

The trading volume edged higher by 3pc to 376.4m shares and the value stood about unchanged at $76m. WorldCall topped the turnover list with change of hands in 50m shares.

Published in Dawn, July 30th, 2021

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