KARACHI: Bears remained in control of the Pakistan Stock Exchange on Thursday, as the indices struggled to find positivity amid political uncertainty and the rising number of coronavirus cases across the country.
A negative trend was also witnessed in global equity markets.
“Political uncertainty amid emergency lockdown in different parts of the country caused investors to rethink their decisions,” said a report issued by Arif Habib Ltd. “In addition, rupee parity also dropped to 166.35 that showed US$ as a preferred store of value for investors as against equities.”
The benchmark KSE-100 Index started the session on a positive note, gaining 71.14 points to record its intraday high at 33,919.82. However, the index changed its direction thereon, marking its intraday low at 33,471.45 after shedding 377.23 points. It settled lower by 308.83 points at 33,539.85.
Among other indices, the KMI-30 Index plunged 549.25 points to close at 53,332.98, while the KSE All Share Index lost 213.77 points, ending at 24,125.23. Of the total traded scrips, 94 advanced and 209 declined.
The overall market volumes fell from 340.65 million shares in the previous session to 216.04 million shares (-37pc). Average traded value also declined by 36pc, from $61 million to $38.9 million. Unity Foods Limited (UNITY -3.57pc), Media Times Limited (MDTL +14.38pc), and The Bank of Punjab (BOP +0.12pc) led the volume chart, exchanging 23.97 million, 9.89 million and 8.33 million shares, respectively.
Sectors that drove the index south included banking (-85.70 points), fertilizer (-58.76 points), and power generation & distribution (-49.52 points). Among the companies, Bank AL Habib Limited (BAHL -45.36 points), Hub Power Company Limited (HUBC -44.34 points), and Fauji Fertilizer Company Limited (FFC -20.95 points) dented the index the most.
Shedding 2.11pc from its total market capitalization, the power sector turned out to be the biggest loser of the day, with K-Electric Limited (KEL -2.35pc), Nishat Chunian Power Limited (NCPL -1.97pc) and Pakgen Power Limited (PKGP -2.52pc) closing in the red.