The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) on Friday extended its losses and retreated around 600 points on the last day of futures rollover week in the absence of major positive triggers that could provide direction to the market.

A day ago, the bourse had dropped nearly 200 points. Investors reacted with panic to the surging coronavirus cases, opting to offload shares on fears of a complete lockdown in Pakistan.

The benchmark KSE-100 index kicked off trading on a positive note, however, bears soon took charge of the bourse, which then stayed in the red for the rest of the trading session.

A host of financial results announced during the day failed to entice market players, who refrained from taking fresh positions.

At close, the benchmark KSE-100 index recorded a decrease of 600.76 points, or 1.34%, to settle at 44,262.35 points.

Arif Habib Limited, in its report, stated that the rollover week ended with a painful impact on the market, causing the index to tumble 711 points during the session.

Leveraged stocks NetSol, TRG Pakistan and Unity Foods, which had a significant outstanding balance in the DFC open interest, created negative sentiment, despite TRG Pakistan declaring good results with a hefty payout.

NetSol, on the other hand, posted negative earnings for the Jan-Mar 2021 quarter. Resultantly, the stock hit its lower circuit.

Selling pressure was observed across the board with UBL contributing to the losses among banking sector stocks with the exception of HBL that maintained its level above last day’s closing price.

Sectors contributing to the performance included technology (-133 points), cement (-60 points), exploration and production (-50 points), oil and gas marketing companies (-46 points) and banks (-42 points).

Individually, stocks that contributed positively to the index included Bank AL Habib (+19 points), HBL (+14 points), Standard Chartered Bank (+6 points), Shifa International Hospitals (+6 points) and AGP Limited (+5 points).

Stocks that contributed negatively were TRG Pakistan (-105 points), Hubco (-30 points), Systems Limited (-28 points), NBP (-24 points) and National Refinery (-23 points).

JS Global analyst Muhammad Mubashir said that bears dominated the market as the KSE-100 index lost 601 points to close the session at 44,262.

“The market opened on a positive note, but could not breach the intra-day resistance level of 45,100 as rising Covid-19 concerns shattered investors’ confidence,” he said.

Overall volumes were recorded at 294 million shares. Ghani Global Holdings (-4.2%), TRG Pakistan (-5.4%), Telecard Limited (-6.3%), WorldCall Telecom (-4.8%) and Hascol Petroleum (-7.4%) led the volume charts as they cumulatively contributed 37% to the aggregate volumes.

“We expect the market to remain volatile due to Covid-19 concerns and recommend investors to book profits on the higher side and wait for sharp dips to accumulate value stocks in cement, refinery and steel sectors,” the analyst said.

Overall trading volumes rose to 293.7 million shares compared with Thursday’s tally of 280.7 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs13.8 billion.

Shares of 367 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 84 stocks closed higher, 273 declined and 10 remained unchanged.

Ghani Global Holdings was the volume leader with 34.8 million shares, losing Rs1.7 to close at Rs38.68. It was followed by TRG Pakistan with 26.2 million shares, losing Rs9.71 to close at Rs168.62 and Telecard Limited with 22.9 million shares, losing Re1 to close at Rs14.78.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs608.1 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.