KARACHI: Investors continued to go back and forth between sell-off on stocks that are to bear the brunt of anaemic economy and the lure of the attractively valued growth stocks.

The turnover nonetheless was modest and the KSE-100 index dropped 108 points, or 0.23 per cent, to settle at 46,528. It was also the first day of the rollover week which kept investors away from the market. Major sellers were the mutual funds and brokers proprietary trading, both reducing their positions by over $1m. Foreign investors cherry-picked shares worth $0.91m.

The reports of Pakistan’s textile and clothing exports posting growth of 28.67pc in the first two months of the fiscal year to $2.93bn, from $2.28bn the same time last year, did little to subside current macroeconomic concerns. After a short breather, the rupee went into another free fall. The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) increased the policy rate by 25bps to 7.25pc. But the announcement hit the market after the close of trading time so that the impact would be visible on Tuesday.

The index oscillated between the intradday high and low by 55 and 421 points. The trading volume stood down 50pc over the previous session to 195m shares and the trading value also declined by 51pc to $48m. Telecard Ltd was the volume leader with change of hands in 20m shares.

Sector-wise exploration and production, textiles, fertilisers and technology lost values and so did the oil marketing companies and refineries. Banking sector fared well with MCB, UBL and Bank Al-Habib cumulatively adding 72 points to the index.

The cement sector after days of thrashing managed to make recovery in over-sold stocks. Pioneer, Cherat, Maple Leaf and Lucky Cement closed in the green.

Stocks that dragged the index down included OGDC, Systems, Kohat Cement, Engro Corporation and Meezan Bank. Stocks that contributed positively to the index included Pakistan Services, MCB, UBL, Lucky Cement and Sui Northern Gas Pipelines.

Published in Dawn, September 21st, 2021

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