KARACHI: The share market succumbed to selling pressure on Thursday as investors reacted to the emergence of Omicron, the latest variant of Covid-19, according to Topline Securities.

The possibility of another cycle of smart lockdowns and its impact on the economy dampened the investors’ sentiments. In addition, continuing volatility in the currency market and the expectations of an interest rate hike in the monetary policy announcement on Dec 14 helped bears dominate the stock market, Arif Habib Ltd said.

As a result, the KSE-100 index lost 328.03 points or 0.75 per cent to close at 43,518.84 points.

Market participation decreased 14pc to 200.5 million shares while the value of traded shares went up 25pc to $49.3m.

Sectors taking away the highest number of points from the benchmark index included cement (124.74 points), commercial banking (118.87 points), pharmaceutical (27.87 points), textile composite (25 points) and power generation and distribution (17.93 points).

Stocks that contributed significantly to the traded volume included TRG Pakistan Ltd (25.72m shares), TeleCard Ltd (13.27m shares), Hascol Petroleum Ltd (12.53m shares), Pakistan Petroleum Ltd (9.67m shares) and WorldCall Telecom Ltd (9.54m shares).

Shares contributing positively to the index were Pakistan Petroleum Ltd (52.59 points), Oil and Gas development Company Ltd (21.70 points), TRG Pakistan Ltd (15.03 points), Fauji Fertiliser Company Ltd (14.90 points) and Engro Polymer and Chemicals Ltd (13.01 points).

Stocks that took away the maximum points from the index included Lucky Cement Ltd (53.07 points), Habib Bank Ltd (32.65 points), Meezan Bank Ltd (24.01 points), D.G. Khan Cement Company Ltd (19.40 points) and Cherat Cement Company Ltd (15.06 points).

Stocks recording the biggest declines in percentage terms included Azgard Nine Ltd, which went down 7.54pc, followed by Standard Chartered Bank Pakistan Ltd (5.72pc), Avanceon Ltd (5.6pc), Yousaf Weaving Mills Ltd (5.47pc) and D.G. Khan Cement Company Ltd (4.97pc).

Foreign investors remained net sellers as they offloaded shares worth $0.91m on a net basis.

Published in Dawn, December 10th, 2021

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