Stocks dip 86 points in volatile session

KARACHI: Investors of the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) witnessed a volatile start to week, with the benchmark KSE-100 Index shedding 2.28pc intraday before gaining some lost ground towards the end.

Foreign investors continued with the selling trend during the previous week (March 23-27), recording a net outflow of $13.66 million.

According to market analysts, an increase in the number of coronavirus cases as well as the imposition of countrywide lockdowns continued to scare investors at the exchange. A slump in international crude oil prices, coupled with bearish performances by regional stock markets, also triggered selling pressure at PSX, they added.

Meanwhile, on economic front, the Asian Development Bank on Monday approved a $2 million grant to help Pakistan combat coronavirus pandemic. The grant will support Pakistan in immediate purchase of emergency medical supplies, personal protective equipment, diagnostic and laboratory supplies, and other equipment.

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Losing 642.22 points or 2.28pc, the KSE-100 Index marked its intraday low at 27,467.35. However, the index made a slow thereon, settling lower by 86.18 points at 28,023.39.

Among other indices, the KMI-30 index dropped 112.11 points to end at 42,943.13, while the KSE All Share Index lost 162.69 points, closing at 20,322.54. Of the total traded shares, 143 advanced and 134 declined.

The overall market volumes were recorded at 159.45 million, with K-Electric Limited (KEL -2.21pc), Maple Leaf Cement Factory Limited (MLCF +7.45pc) and Hascol Petroleum Limited (HASCOL -2.47pc) topping the volume chart. The scripts had exchanged 34.97 million, 9.57 million and 7.17 million shares, respectively.

Sectors that wounded the index during early trade included oil & gas exploration (-132.90 points), banking (-94.82 points) and tobacco (-18.79 points). Among the companies, Pak Petroleum Limited (PPL -73.24 points), Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDC -46.48 points) and Engro Corporation Limited (ENGRO -34.77 points) dented the index the most.

In a notification to the exchange, Summit Bank Limited (SMBL +15.4pc) announced that it has received a letter from Naseer Abdulla Hussain Lootah (potential investor) wherein he has communicated his “intention to acquire at least a controlling stake in SMBL by subscribing to fresh equity in the bank and investing small amounts as necessary to ensure bank meets its Minimum Capital Requirement & Capital Adequacy Ratio”.

The execution of exclusivity agreement with potential investor will be discussed in the board meeting scheduled for 31st March.

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