A day after breaching the 46,000-point barrier, the bourse turned bearish on Thursday and the KSE-100 index shed 103 points as Moody’s report on Pakistan’s economy played on investors’ mind and they resorted to profit-booking.

Moody’s Investors Service on Wednesday projected that Pakistan’s economy would grow at a slow pace of 1.5% during the ongoing fiscal year, which pushed market players to divest their stockholdings.

In the morning, trading began on a positive note, however, the optimism was overshadowed by gloomy news flow and as a result the index oscillated between green and red zones throughout the day.

Bears emerged victorious and the index closed the session lower. Late session buying erased some of the losses but selling pressure kept the index below 46,000-point mark.

At close, the KSE-100 index recorded a decrease of 102.61 points, or 0.22%, to settle at 45,989.35 points.

Arif Habib Limited, in its report, stated that the market saw profit-booking after testing 46,000 a number of times during the week. The index oscillated between -239 points and +181 points during the day and closed down by 103 points.

Selling activity was witnessed in bank, cement and exploration and production sectors, triggered by a host of reasons including a slight decline in international crude oil prices.

Among fertiliser stocks, Fauji Fertiliser Bin Qasim performed well on the back of a subsidy on di-ammonium phosphate (DAP). A new textile policy, which was scheduled to be announced on Wednesday, was postponed till Friday, the report said.

JS Global analyst Maaz Mulla said the KSE-100 index failed to sustain its intraday high of 46,272 and slid to 45,989 with a decline of 103 points. Volumes stood at 621 million shares versus 845 million shares traded the previous day.

In the exploration and production sector, Pakistan Petroleum (-1.1%), Oil and Gas Development Company (-1.9%) and Pakistan Oilfields (-1%) lost value as crude oil prices edged lower in the international market.

Mixed sentiment was witnessed in the power sector where Kapco (+5.9%), Lalpir Power (+3.2%), Kohat Power (+5.5%) and Nishat Power (+0.3%) closed in the green zone and on the flipside Pakgen Power (-4.1%) and Hubco (-0.9%) remained in the negative region.

Cement and steel sectors also contributed to the decline where Maple Leaf Cement (-1.2%), Cherat Cement (-1.8%), DG Khan Cement (-0.8%), Pioneer Cement (-0.7%), Mughal Iron and Steel Industries (-1.5%), International Steels (-1.7%), International Industries Limited (-1.2%) and Crescent Steel and Allied Products (-1.9%) were in the red.

“Moving forward, we recommend investors to consider any downside as an opportunity to buy stocks,” the analyst said.

Overall, trading volumes dropped to 620.7 million shares compared with Wednesday’s tally of 845.3 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs19.8 billion.

Shares of 437 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 183 stocks closed higher, 239 declined and 15 remained unchanged.

Hum Network was the volume leader with 57.5 million shares, losing Rs0.82 to close at Rs6.9. It was followed by K-Electric with 45.7 million shares, losing Rs0.06 to close at Rs4.21 and Fauji Fertiliser Bin Qasim with 25.9 million shares, gaining Rs1.39 to close at Rs27.57.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs150.6 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.

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