Stocks drop 75 points in volatile trade

KARACHI: The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) witnessed another round of volatile activity on Thursday, with the indices swaying both ways in search of a clear direction before closing in the red.

Global equity markets also showed a negative trend, whereas crude oil prices continued to slip lower from the previous close; WTI crude price declining 2.24pc to $40.13 while Brent crude price falling 2.10pc to $42.44.

“The market opened on a positive note but concerns over political uncertainty, especially with regard to opposition’s alliance for demonstration and protest against the government, brought the index down at the end,” said a report issued by AHL Ltd. “Exploration & production and chemical sectors posted gains on back of the recent increase in international crude prices as well as expectation of positive data by listed chemical companies.”

MARKET SUMMARY

The benchmark KSE-100 Index remained in the green for most part of the session, touching its intraday high at 40,533.67 after gaining 389.38 points. However, the index failed to sustain the positivity and lost control towards the end, falling 137.83 points to record its intraday low at 40,006.46 losing. It finally settled lower by 75.80 points at 40,068.49.

Among other indices, the KMI-30 Index lost 160.78 points to end at 63,767.86, while the KSE All Share Index dropped 16.64 points, closing at 28,457.25.

The overall market volumes increased from 232.79 million shares in the previous session to 324.75 million shares (+39pc). Average traded value also increased by 29pc, from $52.5 million to $67.7 million. Hascol Petroleum Ltd (HASCOL -1.59pc), Pakistan International Bulk Terminal Ltd (PIBTL +2.45pc) and Unity Foods Ltd (UNTIY -1.76pc) led the volume chart, exchanging 30.64 million, 17.70 million shares and 17.47 million shares, respectively.

Sectors that dragged the benchmark index lower included cement (-27.40 points), banking (-25.34 points) and oil & gas marketing (-14.42 pts). Among the companies, Habib Bank Ltd (HBL -33.88 points), TRG Pakistan Ltd (TRG -16.79 points) and MCB Bank Ltd (MCB -14.18 points) dented the index the most.

Shedding 1.56pc from its cumulative market capitalization, the refinery sector ended as the session’s top loser, with Attock Refinery Ltd (ATRL -1.46pc), Pakistan Refinery Ltd (PRL -1.89pc), National Refinery Ltd (NRL -1.71pc) and Byco Petroleum Pakistan Ltd (BYCO -1.47pc) posting significant losses.

Meanwhile, Engro Polymer and Chemicals Ltd (EPCL +7.48pc) declared its financials for the third quarter of FY20. The company’s sales appreciated 72.91pc YoY to Rs10.06 billion, while cost of sales fell by 3.14pc. With a 14pc decline in admin cost, the company posted earnings per share of Rs2.06 in 3QFY20 (Rs1.43 last year).

The company further informed that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Engro Peroxide (Pvt) Ltd, will be resuming work on earlier announced hydrogen peroxide project in last quarter of 2020 and as per revised timeline, the project is expected to achieve commercialization by the end of 2022.

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