The stock market once again slipped in the red in range-bound trading on Friday, in line with its performance during most of the current futures rollover week, and the KSE-100 index lost around 100 points.

The market kicked off trading on a positive note, marching north right up to the midday break. However, bears returned after the market resumed trading, dragging the index down from its intra-day high of 274 points to the low of 213 points.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) decision to keep Pakistan in the grey list till June 2021 weighed on investors’ sentiment.

The market continued to search for direction throughout the day. A murky political situation due to upcoming Senate elections together with the FATF verdict sat heavily on the minds of stockholders.

Stock selling was observed across the board. The announcement of scores of financial results during the day failed to entice market participants to turn direction of the market.

At close, the benchmark KSE-100 index recorded a decrease of 100.61 points, or 0.22%, to settle at 45,865.02 points.

Arif Habib Limited, in its report, stated that the market traded in a narrow range, oscillating between -213 points and +274 points. It closed the session in the red.

The FATF decision to maintain status quo for Pakistan till June 2021 sparked a lukewarm welcome from investors, the report said.

Profit-booking was witnessed almost across the board, including technology, cement and textile stocks, whereas oil and gas marketing companies faced aggressive selling, especially Pakistan State Oil, which had been facing investor wrath since the announcement of its financial result.

Cement sector stocks rallied earlier in the session on projection of healthy sales in the ongoing month, however, profit-booking by the end of the session brought stock prices below previous day’s closing prices, barring Lucky Cement, which recorded a decent price rise.

Sectors contributing to the performance included exploration and production (-56 points), technology (-33 points), chemical (-31 points), auto (-24 points), oil and gas marketing (-20 points) and cement (+48 points).

Individually, stocks that contributed positively to the index included Lucky Cement (+57 points), HBL (+34 points), Searle (+21 points), Fauji Fertiliser (+18 points) and Azgard Nine (+16 points).

Stocks that contributed negatively were Oil and Gas Development Company (-54 points), TRG Pakistan (-45 points), Colgate-Palmolive (-30 points), Nishat Mills (-16 points) and NBP (-13 points).

Overall trading volumes rose to 480 million shares compared with Thursday’s tally of 469 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs25.7 billion.

Shares of 417 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 144 stocks closed higher, 257 declined and 16 remained unchanged.

Unity Foods was the volume leader with 45.4 million shares, losing Rs1.57 to close at Rs31.38. It was followed by Telecard Limited with 36.7 million shares, gaining Rs0.03 to close at Rs7.91 and TRG Pakistan with 33.2 million shares, losing Rs4.18 to close at Rs142.06.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs91.1 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.

 

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