PSX losing streak continues for 7th straight session

Benchmark index sheds 308 points ahead of holidays


Bears continued to dominate the stock market on Friday as the benchmark index slipped deeper into the red for the seventh successive session falling below the 29,500-point level. Contrary to the trend, the KSE-100 index opened upwards and managed to breach the 30,000 barrier but the trend could not be sustained. Diplomatic and political concerns weighed on investor sentiment as they largely remained on the sidelines, with trading volumes dropping from the preceding session.
Although relations between India and Pakistan remained tense, mid-session support was seen on institutional interest in oversold bank and cement stocks. Weak global crude oil prices and slump in global equities also led to the dismal performance. At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded a decrease of 308.91 points, or 1.04%, to settle at 29,429.07 points.
Overall, trading volumes decreased to 76.4 million shares compared with Thursday’s tally of 109.1 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs3.1 billion. Shares of 321 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 170 stocks closed higher, 134 declined and 17 remained unchanged.
Maple Leaf Cement was the volume leader with 7.8 million shares, gaining Rs0.80 to close at Rs18.04. It was followed by Engro Polymer with 5.1 million shares, losing Rs1.14 to close at Rs21.73 and TRG Pakistan with 4.9 million shares, gaining Rs0.37 to close at Rs12.69. Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs125.1 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.
Continuing with the declining trend, the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) ended the last session ahead of holidays also in the red. The indices, which opened the day positively, failed to sustain its gains and slipped to another 52-week low in the second half of the session owing to institutional selling.
On the economic front, the State Bank of Pakistan revealed on Thursday that the country’s foreign exchange reserves for the week ended August 02, 2019, have declined by 0.49pc.

The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank decreased by $37.9 million on a weekly basis and were recorded at $7.72 billion, compared with $7,767 million in the previous week. The decrease in reserves was due to external debt servicing and other official payments.
The KSE-100 Index managed to open the day positively, gaining 296.70 points to reach its intraday high of 30,034.68. However, the index soon crumbled to the selling pressure and registered its day’s low at 29,332.80 (-405.18 points). It finally settled lower by 308.41 points at 29,429.07.
The sectors that pulled the index down included commercial banks (-142.90 points) and oil and gas exploration (-119.37 points). A total of 40 scripts in the index ended positively while 48 closed in red. The situation in other indices also remained dull, as the KSE All Share Index slipped by 104.09 points, KMI-30 Index lost 682.58 points while the KSE-30 Index laid off 200.74 points.
In other exchange-related news, Nishat (Chunian) Limited (NCL +4.99pc) board of directors have decided to recommend the members to buy back shares up to a maximum of 32 million ordinary shares at a price of Rs32 each. The stock price jumped to its upper cap following the announcement.

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