KARACHI: Bulls managed to drive out bears on Thursday after they had trampled the stock market for what looked like an unending days of destruction. The KSE-100 index gained 533 points, or 1.20 per cent, and closed at 44,899.60.

It was not an easy breakthrough for the investors spooked by the staggering intraday loss of 1,299 points a day ago and they continued to sell in early hours which pushed the index down by intraday low of 395 points. The buying across sectors came mainly in the last hour.

A calm returned when sane market participants were able to convince others that the market had overly negatively reacted to the earlier reports of Senate bill in US, that required assessment of Pakistan along with Taliban. It brought back value hunters who were only too eager to accumulate stocks at attractive valuations.

Traders said that banks were the lead buyers of shares worth $7.15m while local corporates and insurance companies also deployed funds in fresh positions. There were suggestions of window-dressing, but most analysts thought that institutional purchases at extremely discounted prices provided power to the balance sheets. Mutual funds also bought in varying sums.

A fund manager said that two government pension funds had injected sizeable liquidity in the market. All of that helped to neutralise the massive sell-off of stocks worth $8.93 million by foreign investors.

After days of dismal performance, the cement sector recovered on Thursday with most shares trading in the green. Those included Fauji, Cherat, D.G. Khan; Pioneer and Maple Leaf. The E&P sector also showed a sharp recovery with prices of OGDC, POL and PPL recovering as crude oil prices edged higher in the international market.

Scrips that helped to lift the index included MEBL, KEL, PPL, OGDC and Lucky Cement which together added 348 points to the index. The trading volume and value for the day stood at 372m shares and Rs13.76bn respectively. K-Electric was the volume leader with 32.5m shares traded. Overall, analysts calculated that the KSE 100 index declined by 5.3pc during October, making it the worst month after March 2020.

Published in Dawn, October 1st, 2021

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