Market watch: Bears continue to rule PSX


In line with the preceding session, bears maintained their control over the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) on Friday as rising Covid-19 cases caused selling pressure across the board.

Uncertainty in the international crude oil market, with oil prices on track for their biggest weekly decline since March, coupled with projections of weak economic data also fuelled the bearish momentum.

The benchmark KSE-100 index, following a positive open, crawled downwards. The downtrend turned steeper when trading resumed in the second half of the session.

At close, the benchmark KSE-100 index recorded a decrease of 150.93 points, or 0.32%, to settle at 47,489.95.

A report of Arif Habib Limited stated that the market largely traded in a narrow range and lost a total of 216 points. However, it closed the session with a trimmed loss of 151 points.

Oil and gas marketing companies, cement, chemical, refinery and technology sectors continued to face selling pressure, as witnessed in the previous couple of sessions.

Lucky Cement saw a significant drop in the half hour before close, which brought its price below the previous day’s closing level by a wide margin.

Sectors contributing to the performance included technology (-50 points), cement (-34 points), vanaspati (-25 points), textile (-18 points) and banks (+28 points).

Individually, stocks that contributed positively to the index included Meezan Bank (+21 points), Ghani Global Glass (+21 points), Bank Alfalah (+11 points), MCB (+7 points) and International Industries (+7 points).

Stocks that contributed negatively were TRG Pakistan (-32 points), Unity Foods (-25 points), Lucky Cement (-20 points), Systems Limited (-13 points) and Hubco (-12 points).

JS Global analyst Neelum Naz said that negative sentiment built around the rising Covid positivity ratio, which dragged the KSE-100 index down from an intra-day high of 47,753 points to 47,490 at the close of trading.

Steel rebar prices were increased by Rs5,000 per ton effective Friday, which kept the steel sector in the limelight.

“Going forward, Pakistan equities can be expected to continue their downward journey amid a lack of buyer interest, and investors are advised to exercise caution and adopt a buy-on-dip strategy in steel, technology and cement sectors,” the analyst said.

Overall trading volumes fell to 499.7 million shares compared with Thursday’s tally of 546.8 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs13.7 billion.

Shares of 473 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 151 stocks closed higher, 300 declined and 22 remained unchanged.

Pervez Ahmed Co was the volume leader with 67.5 million shares, gaining Rs0.06 to close at Rs1.75. It was followed by Unity Foods with 35.95 million shares, gaining Rs2.34 to close at Rs38.08 and Dost Steels with 26.1 million shares, gaining Rs0.15 to close at Rs5.50.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs133.8 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.

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