Stocks drift lower, trapped in range

'Market activity remained range-bound as investors adopted a cautious approach ahead of monetary policy announcement'

KARACHI: The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) witnessed a range-bound session on Friday, as investors adopted a cautious approach ahead of monetary policy announcement.

Global equity markets also showed a negative trend, whereas crude oil prices dropped further from the previous close; WTI crude price declining 2.50pc to $51.80 while Brent crude price falling 2.39pc to $54.76 (As at 5:08pm PST).

“The 100 index witnessed across the board selling today, mainly due concerns over monetary policy decision, which was announced in the last half hour of the session, besides redemptions from mutual funds,” a report issued by Arif Habib Ltd read. “Increase in electricity tariff also affected investor sentiment towards manufacturing concerns.”

MARKET SUMMARY

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The benchmark KSE-100 Index swayed both ways on Friday, registering its intraday high at 46,116.85 (+132.39 points) and low at 45,690.50 (-293.96 points). It settled lower by 116.42 points at 45,868.04.

Among other indices, the KMI-30 Index dropped 421.17 points to end at 72,850.19, while the KSE All Share Index was down 72.94 points, closing at 31,840.92.

The overall market volumes declined from 606.37 million shares in the previous session to 430.53 million shares (-29pc). Average traded value also dipped 12pc, from $111.5 million to $98.5 million. K-Electric Ltd (KEL -3.29pc), Fauji Foods Ltd (FFL +0.26pc) and Invest Capital Investment Bank Ltd (ICIBL +28.04pc) led the volume chart, exchanging 54.06 million, 24.68 million and 23.73 million shares, respectively.

Sectors that dragged the benchmark index lower included oil & gas exploration (-45.22 points), fertilizer (-20.69 points) and oil & gas marketing (-13.91 points). Among the companies, TRG Pakistan Ltd (TRG -27.36 points), Engro Corporation Ltd (ENGRO -14.43 points) and Mari Petroleum Company Ltd (MARI -14.36 points) dented the index the most.

Shedding 1.18pc from its cumulative market capitalization, the Refinery sector ended as the session’s worst performer, with Attock Refinery Ltd (ATRL -1.13pc), Byco Petroleum Pakistan Ltd (BYCO -1.97pc) and Pakistan Refinery Ltd (PRL -1.00pc) closing in the negative.

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