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Profit taking drags KSE-100 below 44,000 points

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Bears held their grip over the Pakistan Stock Exchange for a fourth consecutive day on Thursday and dragged the KSE-100 below 44,000 point barrier owing to a handful of dismal developments. With the latest fall, the KSE-100 index has plunged over 2,550 points since the beginning of the week.

The strike observed by petroleum dealers signaled a slump in economic activity during the day and accelerated the market’s decline.

Investors took cue from spike in Pakistan’s debt to historic levels and resorted to sell off their holdings.

Moreover, market expectations of steep appreciation in rupee against the dollar following revival of International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout proved untrue and added to the woes of market participants. Foreign selling continued at the bourse for an additional session and fuelled the fall further.

Trading began on a positive however the market was unable to sustain the uptrend and began its descent within the initial hour. The index fell steadily throughout the session however late session buying erased few of the losses.

At close, the benchmark KSE-100 index recorded a decline of 427.95 points, or 0.96%, to settle at 43,935.75.

A report of Arif Habib Limited stated that bears ruled over the bulls for the fourth consecutive session in a week due to concerns over devaluation of rupee and last leg of foreign selling spree.

Roll-over week continued to remain under pressure despite attractive valuations in terms of low price earnings multiples and high dividend yields.

Technology stocks remained in the limelight throughout the day as traders placed the bet on high-beta stocks to mark quick trading gains.

On the flip-side, institutional investors fetched for value hunting in the last trading hour, the report said.

JS Global analyst Waqar Iqbal said that the market saw continuation of selling pressure from previous sessions.

“Foreign selling kept the market under pressure which led the index to decline by 428 points to close at the level of 43,936,” he said.

Total traded volumes remained thin and were recorded at 195 million shares with TPL Properties (0.8%), Byco Petroleum (1.9%) and Hubco (-3.1%) being the volume leaders.

“We believe market participants now keep an eye out for announcements on the economic side, where it is expected that the inflation reading for November will set the direction for the index going forward,” the analyst said.

Overall trading volumes plunged to 195.2 million shares compared with Wednesday’s tally of 310.4 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs8.4 billion.

Shares of 328 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 121 stocks closed higher, 185 declined and 22 remained unchanged.

TPL Properties XB was the volume leader with 16.3 million shares, gaining Rs0.34 to close at Rs42.73. It was followed by Byco Petroluem with 12.2 million shares, gaining Rs0.12 to close at Rs6.44 and Hub Power Company with 9.5 million shares, losing Rs2.25 to close at Rs69.94.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs1.66 billion worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.

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