KARACHI: In line with its usual performance, the stock market once again slipped into the red zone on Friday following close of the rollover week.
The benchmark KSE-100 index opened downwards and despite brief spikes it maintained its march towards south. Persistent selling pressure pushed the index to an intra-day low of 31,434.14 points.
Dismal inflation data weighed on investor sentiment as market players opted to stay on the sidelines.
At the end of trading, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded a decrease of 172.70 points, or 0.54%, to settle at 31,666.41.
JS Global analyst Maaz Mulla said equities closed the week on a negative note with the benchmark KSE-100 index shedding 173 points and closing at 31,666.
“The bourse touched a high of only 3 points but soon came under pressure, hitting a low of 405 points. It remained under pressure as the inflation reading of 10.3% for July was above expectations,” the analyst commented.
Moreover, a sell-off was expected in exploration and production (E&P) stocks as international crude oil prices declined. Oil and Gas Development Company (-0.6%), Pakistan Petroleum (-2.6%) and Pakistan Oilfields (-1.1%) closed in the red zone.
Negative sentiment was seen in the commercial banking sector as well where the major laggards were HBL (-1.7%), MCB Bank (-1.7%) and UBL (-1.5%).
Lucky Cement (+0.9%), Cherat Cement (+1.4%) and Maple Leaf Cement (+1.3%) were the major movers in the cement sector. Fauji Cement (-0.8%) and DG Khan Cement (-0.3%), however, remained negative.
“Moving ahead, we expect the market to exhibit volatility in coming sessions due to overall ambiguity in the political environment,” the analyst said.
Overall, trading volumes decreased to 46.5 million shares compared with Thursday’s tally of 70.7 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs2 billion.
Shares of 311 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 145 stocks closed higher, 149 declined and 17 remained unchanged.
International Steels was the volume leader with 5.05 million shares, gaining Rs1.47 to close at Rs33.22. It was followed by Maple Leaf Cement with 4.5 million shares, gaining Rs0.22 to close at Rs17.22 and Fauji Cement with 2.1 million shares, losing Rs0.11 to close at Rs13.34.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs18.85 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.