KARACHI: The stock market extended its losses on Friday and shed 344 points, ending the fourth consecutive session in the red. The fall came in the absence of positive triggers that could set direction of the market.
The KSE-100 index remained under pressure as cumulative losses in the past four days came in at almost 800 points.
Fertiliser and exploration and production stocks bore the brunt of market's weakness and both sectors closed entirely in the red. On the other hand, only one stock in the cement sector stood positive.
In the morning, after staying positive for a brief period, the KSE-100 index succumbed to the selling pressure as investors offloaded stocks. Timely recoveries were wiped out immediately on the back of weak investor sentiments with the first session ending below 39,000 points.
The second session followed the first and extended losses, ending the week on a negative note.
Market watch: KSE-100 loses 274 points amid lack of positive triggers
At the end of trading, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded a decrease of 343.87 points, or 0.88%, to settle at 38,950.23.
JS Global analyst Maaz Mulla said bears came out as winners after a volatile week. "In Friday's session, the index hit an intra-day low of -427 points. Volumes were extremely weak, standing at 74 million shares, the lowest recorded this month," the analyst said.
WorldCall Telecom (-2.9%), The Bank of Punjab (+0.1%) and Pakistan Stock Exchange (+5.8%) were the volume leaders with cumulative trading in more than 25 million shares.
On the news front, Saudi Arabia assured Pakistan of the kingdom's complete support for seeking a peaceful settlement of all outstanding disputes with India.
Cement and exploration and production sectors received a battering where Pioneer Cement (-2.2%), Maple Leaf Cement (-1.4%), DG Khan Cement (-1.4%), Lucky Cement (-1.6%), Pakistan Oilfields (-1.3%), Pakistan Petroleum (-1.2%) and Oil and Gas Development Company (-0.9%) cumulatively contributed 88 points to the index's decline.
Market watch: KSE-100 extends bearish run, loses 120 points
"We expect overall volatility to persist in the absence of any major triggers and IMF bailout package. We recommend investors to stay cautious," the analyst said.
Overall, trading volumes decreased to 74 million shares compared with Thursday's tally of 83.2 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs3.76 billion.
Shares of 333 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 69 stocks closed higher, 237 declined and 27 remained unchanged.
WorldCall Telecom was the volume leader with 12.47 million shares, losing Rs0.04 to close at Rs1.32. It was followed by The Bank of Punjab with 6.66 million shares, gaining Rs0.02 to close at Rs13.86 and Pakistan Stock Exchange with 6.62 million shares, gaining Re1 to close at Rs18.21.
Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs1.8 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.