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Stocks drift lower amid lack of triggers

Stocks drift lower amid lack of triggers

KARACHI: After a positive close to the previous session, the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) once again went under the control of bears, with the benchmark KSE-100 Index closing below the 31,000-mark on Wednesday.

Foreign investors continued offloading equities on Tuesday, recording a net outflow of $6.25 million.

Analysts said overnight pressure on international crude prices had a negative impact on global equity markets, and KSE-100 was no different. Oil prices steadied near $32 a barrel on hopes that a meeting between OPEC members and allied producers on Thursday will trigger output cuts to shore up prices that have collapsed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile, on the economic front, Pakistan received a five-month grace period in submitting its performance report against money laundering and terror financing to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The review, which was scheduled for June 21-26 in Beijing, would now be held in October.

Shedding 456.10 points, the KSE-100 Index slipped to its intraday low at 30,775.45. Amid lack of positive triggers, it closed lower by 260.28 points at 30,971.27. The KMI-30 Index dropped 472.86 points to end at 48,930.47, while the KSE All Share Index fell short by lost 254.39 points, settling at 22,192.53. Of the total traded shares, 106 advanced and 170 declined.

The overall trading volumes increased from 172.63 million in the previous session to 180.76 million, with Unity Foods Limited (UNITY +7.05pc) Hascol Petroleum Limited (HASCOL +0.74pc) and Pak Elektron Limited (PAEL -6.49pc) topping the volume chart. The scrips had exchanged 28.77 million, 25.83 million and 14.08 million shares, respectively.

Sectors that drove the index south included banking (-115.01 points), oil & gas exploration (-44.51 points) and cement (-37.10 points). Among the companies, Pakistan Tobacco Company Limited (PAKT -36.10 points), Lucky Cement Limited (LUCK -31.58 points) and Bank AlFalah Limited (BAFL -29.18 points) dented the index the most.

The banking sector lost 1.28pc from its cumulative market capitalization, with Bank AlFalah Limited (BAFL -5.01pc), Habib Bank Limited (HBL -1.26pc) and United Bank Limited (UBL -1.62pc) closing in the red.