Bears and bulls locked horns at the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) on Tuesday as the KSE-100 index traded on both sides of the fence, but closed with a loss of 83 points owing to investor concern over surge in coronavirus cases.
During the day, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) discussed the re-imposition of stringent standard operating procedures in view of a consistent uptrend in Covid-19 cases over the past one week.
This report, in particular, played on investors’ mind and dragged the market down because the reintroduction of curbs would deal a significant blow to the recovering economy.
Market sentiment was further dampened by the rising trend in international oil prices as investors feared a further increase in prices of petroleum products over the next few months in the country.
Earlier, trading kicked off on a positive note and the index posted gains during the first half of the session. The market succumbed to weak investor interest in the second half and dipped due to selling pressure.
At close, the benchmark KSE-100 index recorded a decrease of 82.96 points, or 0.17%, to settle at 47,346.16.
Arif Habib Limited, in its report, stated that the market traded range bound, oscillating between -187 points and +236 points, closing the session down by 83 points.
“The index went up earlier in the session and saw across-the-board buying activity, however, selling pressure took over later, which drove stock prices down, particularly in power, technology, steel and refinery sectors,” it said.
“Banking sector remained muted with limited price uptick in HBL, whereas the exploration and production sector saw continued selling pressure in Oil and Gas Development Company and Pakistan Petroleum, which fell below previous day’s closing prices.”
The cement sector performed well on the back of increase in cement prices per bag in the southern region, the report said.
Overall trading volumes rose to 541.3 million shares compared with Monday’s tally of 494.5 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs17.6 billion.
Shares of 413 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 125 stocks closed higher, 271 declined and 17 remained unchanged.
Hascol Petroleum was the volume leader with 49.9 million shares, gaining Rs0.79 to close at Rs8.07. It was followed by WorldCall Telecom with 48.9 million shares, losing Rs0.12 to close at Rs3.86 and Byco Petroleum with 29.9 million shares, losing Rs0.1 to close at Rs10.8.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs118 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.