KARACHI: Following a day's respite, bears returned to the bourse on Thursday as the KSE-100 index shed 383 points because of weak political cues.
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is set to announce its decision on Friday on whether Pakistan will remain on the grey list or not.
After a brief open in the positive, the KSE-100 index started falling and the trend continued for the rest of the day. Timely rises were noted but weak investor sentiment restrained the market from making hefty gains.
At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded a decrease of 382.53 points, or 1.12%, to settle at 33,898.56.
JS Global analyst Danish Ladhani said owing to political uncertainty and ahead of FATF decision the market lost ground and the index touched an intra-day low of -444 points before closing down 383 points at 33,899 points.
A total of 138 million shares were traded with Lotte Chemical (+2.1%), K-Electric (-2%) and TRG Pakistan (+0.3%) remaining the volume leaders.
Lotte Chemical (+2.1%) from the chemical sector experienced heavy trading as the company declared its 9MCY19 results.
Moreover, MCB Bank (-1%) from the banking sector declared its 9MCY19 results where the bank posted earnings per share (EPS) of Rs13.63 and cash payout of Rs4 per share.
Pakistan Oilfields (-1.7%), Pakistan Petroleum (-1.5%) and Oil and Gas Development Company (-1%) from the exploration and production sector went down on the back of lower crude oil prices in the international market.
"Moving ahead, we expect the market to remain choppy until further clarity emerges on the FATF front," the analyst said.
Arif Habib Limited, in its report, said the market opened on a positive note with a gain of 12 points and trading in 0.4 million shares. "The benchmark index rose up to 80 points earlier in the session, which was followed by selling pressure," he said.
The only stock that mattered during the session was Lotte Chemical, which recorded trading volume of 59.6 million shares - approximately 16% of its free float and 43% of the total trading volume of the day. No other stock managed to cross trading in even six million shares.
Lotte Chemical announced nine-month financial results which were largely in line with street estimates. However, a major attraction was the 15% dividend that matched last year's payout.
On the whole, the index lost 386 points (unadjusted) with total volume of 138 million shares, most of which was contributed by the chemical sector, followed by the technology sector (8.1 million) and power sector (7.9 million), the report said.
Overall, trading volumes decreased to 138 million shares compared with Wednesday's tally of 151.4 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs3.8 billion.
Shares of 364 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 109 stocks closed higher, 234 declined and 21 remained unchanged.
Lotte Chemical was the volume leader with 59.6 million shares, gaining Rs0.34 to close at Rs16.61. It was followed by K-Electric with 5.2 million shares, losing Rs0.08 to close at Rs3.90 and TRG Pakistan with 4.2 million shares, gaining Rs0.05 to close at Rs16.16.
Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs52.2 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.
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