Bears keep control as index sheds 580 points

KSE-100's weekly return clocks in at -3.57pc

KARACHI: The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) was once again hijacked by bears, as the indices that opened on a positive note soon took a dip and headed south thereon to close in the red.

The one-week return of the benchmark KSE-100 Index was recorded at -3.57pc.

Foreign investors closed the preceding session (on Thursday) as net sellers with a net outflow of $7.39 million.

According to media reports, the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Finance recommended the government to revisit the new stock market brokers’ regime, which, in its current form, “could result in the monopoly of some big brokers” over the bourse.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s liquid foreign exchange reserves increased by 1.54pc to $18,645 million (as on 31st January 2020). Net reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan appreciated by 3.01pc while reserves with commercial banks declined by 1.19pc.

Also, domestic cement sales witnessed an increase of 6pc in the first seven months of FY20, with exports surging by 39.49pc. However, on a month-on-month basis, domestic sales declined by 7.76pc whereas exports rose by 4.9pc.

The benchmark KSE-100 Index, which opened at 40,869.49, slid by 677.93 points to record its intraday low at 40,046.48. Amid lack of triggers, the index closed lower by 580.78 points at 40,143.63.

Among other indices, the KMI-30 Index declining by 1,137.24 points or -1.75pc to settle at 63,911.66, while the KSE All Share Index fell by 355.56 points, ending at 28,042.82.

The overall market volumes were recorded at 193.35 million. Maple Leaf Cement Factory Limited (MLCF -5.34pc), Lotte Chemical Pakistan Limited (LOTCHEM -6.07pc) and Unity Foods Limited (UNITY -6.91pc) remained the volume leaders of the day, exchanging 21.47 million, 17.39 million and 14.37 million shares, respectively.

Sectors that drove the 100 Index south included banking (-131.64 points), oil and gas marketing (-71.24 points) and oil & gas exploration (-64.63 points). Among the companies, Habib Bank Limited (HBL -42.70 points), Pakistan State Oil Company Limited (PSO -41.432 points) and Hub Power Company Limited (HUBC -29.48 points) dented the index the most.

On the market front, Sazgar Engineering Works Limited (SAZEW -4.27pc) declared its financial performance for the second quarter of FY20. The company recorded a growth of 2.24pc in its sales and 22.7pc in its gross profit. Despite a 197pc increase in financial cost, the company’s earnings per share rose from Rs0.15 in 2QFY19 to Rs0.24.

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