KARACHI: Bears continued to rule the stock market on Friday as selling pressure pulled the benchmark index down by 462 points, which ended its second successive session in the red.
The last trading day of the week was marred by uncertainty and investors chose to remain on the sidelines before the central bank's announcement of monetary policy.
After a brief open in the positive, the index kept on falling steadily with selling in auto, cement, bank, engineering, fertiliser and oil stocks. Ongoing political developments also continued to dent investors' sentiments.
At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded a decrease of 462.07 points or 1.09% to settle at 42,074.09.
JS Research analyst Maaz Mulla said "negativity prevailed around the clock as the index lost 462 points owing to jitters from the political backdrop and the last day of futures rollover."
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"Volumes remained lacklustre as 110 million shares changed hands. Pak Elektron (-4.69%) from the cable and electrical goods sector led the market volumes with 11.5 million shares," added Mulla.
On the economic front, the currency swap arrangement (CSA) between the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and People's Bank of China was extended for three years. In the extended agreement, both the central banks have agreed to increase the CSA amount from 10 billion to 20 billion Chinese yuan and from Rs165 billion to Rs351 billion.
Major laggards of the day were Habib Bank (-2.32%), Pakistan State Oil (-2.37%), Lucky Cement (-1.40%), Hubco (-1.45%) and Nishat Mills (-2.53%) as they cumulatively wiped 134 points off the index.
Sector-wise, commercial banks showed mixed sentiments where MCB Bank (+0.28%) closed positive and on the flipside Habib Bank (-2.32%) and Faysal Bank (-2.31%) were in the red zone.
The cement sector remained under pressure for the third consecutive day where Cherat Cement (-2.94%), Fauji Cement (-2.04%), Maple Leaf Cement (-1.03%), Lucky Cement (-1.40%) and DG Khan Cement (-1.41%) lost value.
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Pakistan Oilfields (-0.95%), Pakistan Petroleum (-0.24%) and Oil and Gas Development Company (-0.52%) from the exploration and production sector shed points as crude oil prices edged down in the international market.
Mulla expects the market to remain volatile with flows from local institutions and foreigners guiding direction.
Shares of 313 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 78 stocks closed higher, 214 declined while 21 remained unchanged.
Overall, trading volumes declined to 109.6 million shares compared with Thursday's tally of 127.1 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs3.6 billion.
Pak Elektron was the volume leader with 11.5 million shares, losing Rs1.69 to close at Rs34.33. It was followed by First Dawood Investment Bank with 10.6 million shares, gaining Rs0.3 to close at Rs5.06 and TRG Pakistan with 7.7 million shares, losing Rs1.29 to close at Rs25.73.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs144.6 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.
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