Lockdown mars bullish sentiments on stock market

Published July 31, 2021
Steel sector was about the lone good performer due to announcement of price incr­ease by flat steel manufacturers. — AFP/File
Steel sector was about the lone good performer due to announcement of price incr­ease by flat steel manufacturers. — AFP/File

KARACHI: Heavy selling saw the KSE-100 index sink 257 points, or 0.54 per cent, and close the last day of the rollover week at 47,055. The trend of the stock market on Friday was the tale of two halves.

The market had witnessed impressive rebound of 362 points on Thursday after Asad Umar, federal minister and the head of National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), said in no uncertain terms that the “closing down entire cities for weeks was not the solution to curb the spread of the coronavirus.”

The investors thought that it suggested that the centre had prevailed over the Sindh government’s plans of a lockdown. Therefore, throwing caution to the wind, the investors started to lap up under-valued stocks and shares of companies anticipated to show strong earnings and dividends in the upcoming financial results. The index started to rise and by the close of the first half it surged 220 points after touching the intraday high by 330 points.

The outbreak of pandemic recording 86 deaths and 4,537 new positive cases on Thursday at national average of 7.79pc and one-in-four sick in Karachi, was scary which prompted the Sindh government to declare strict lockdown until Aug 8.

When the market opened at 2:30pm for second session, investors went into panic selling, ditching stocks at whatever was the available price. It saw erosion of all the gains as the index plunged into the red by 391 points dragging it to 46,921 points, though it managed to crawl slightly up over the 47,000 level before the end of trading.

Foreign investors sold shares worth $0.97m. Individuals dumped stocks valued at $3.57m which were picked up mainly by the mutual funds amounting to $3.92m. Sector-wise, banks, O&GMCs, cement, chemical, refinery and technology bore the brunt of the blow.

Steel sector was about the lone good performer due to announcement of price incr­ease by flat steel manufacturers. Stocks that were the worst performers included TRG down by 47 points, FFC (44 points), HBL (39 points), Lucky Cement (23 points) and PPL (17 points).

The trading volume edged higher by 5pc to 399m shares.

Published in Dawn, July 31st, 2021

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