KARACHI: The KSE-100 index continued to lose ground for the third consecutive day on Friday as political noise and dearth of positive triggers dented investor sentiments.
The bourse dropped over 400 points during the day with cumulative loss in the last three sessions was nearly 900 points.
In the morning, trading opened on a positive note and the index rose past 41,400 points. Later, it fell around 360 points by the end of first half and extended the decline in second half.
Many index-heavy stocks succumbed to the selling pressure with automobile and exploration and production stocks being the hardest hit.
At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded a decrease of 411.62 points or 1% to settle at 40,854.77.
JS Global analyst Maaz Mulla said equities closed in the red for the third consecutive day at 40,855.
“We believe negativity in the market was due to noise on the political front and declining foreign currency reserves,” he said. “Volumes were dull with only 121 million shares traded throughout the day as compared to 160 million shares the previous day.”
Fauji Cement (+1.11%) led the volumes chart with more than 13 million shares changing hands.
Overall, the cement sector showed a declining trend where big players Lucky Cement (-2.4%), DG Khan Cement (-4.5%), Pioneer Cement (-5%) and Cherat Cement (-4.4%) were on a downward trajectory.
On the economic front, liquid foreign exchange reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) decreased $342 million to $9.885 billion due to external debt servicing and other official payments.
Oil and Gas Development Company (-1%) from the exploration and production sector declared its FY18 results. The company posted earnings per share of Rs18.31 and final cash payout of Rs2.50 per share.
“Moving forward, investors are recommended to trade cautiously and reduce short-term positions on strength due to lack of positive triggers that can potentially drive the market,” Mulla said.
Overall, trading volumes decreased to 120.9 million shares compared with Thursday’s tally of 159.7 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs4.6 billion.
Shares of 378 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 80 stocks closed higher, 283 declined while 15 remained unchanged.
Fauji Cement was the volume leader with 13.9 million shares, gaining Rs0.27 to close at Rs24.51. It was followed by Engro Polymer XD with 8 million shares, gaining Rs0.37 to close at Rs32.88 and Unity Foods with 7.3 million shares, losing Rs1.97 to close at Rs37.49.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs5.2 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.