The stock market extended its splendid rally on Tuesday as the KSE-100 index added 443 points to the 796 points it had amassed a day earlier. But that was until the last hour of trading when companies, brokers and insurance firms thought discretion to be better part of valour and launched into heavy profit-selling that saw the index spiral downwards to wipe out all the gains and dive to intra-day low of 140 points in the red.
Reclaiming some lost ground, the index managed to close in the red by a tiny 15.38 points (0.04 per cent) at 43,250.84.
Traders said that with the KSE-100 index at almost a year’s high, individuals had to square up their positions. However, mutual fund and banks kept themselves invested while foreign investors also returned to selling after some small net buying a day earlier.
Arif Habib Ltd CEO Shahid Ali Habib said that Pakistan stock market had gained 59pc since March this year, reaching its highest level since July 30, 2018. Most analysts admit that the economy is undergoing positive economic reforms with relative stability in the rupee, rising foreign exchange reserves, interest rates and remittances.
Habib projected the corporate earnings growth at 17.5pc in 2021, highest in five years.
Traded volumes surged 12pc over the previous day to 702 million shares, representing growing investor participation. Traded value also increased by 11pc to reach $182.3m as against $164.7m on Monday.
Pakistan Refinery Ltd was the day’s volume leader with trading seen in 64.3m shares.
Exploration & production and cement sectors mostly contributed to the downside, although oil prices maintained the previous day’s level.
Stocks that contributed positively to the index included MCB Bank Ltd, Meezan Bank Ltd, Fauji Fertilizer Company, Millat Tractors Ltd and Nishat Milks Ltd. Stocks that pulled down the index included Hub Power, Lucky Cement, Pakistan Petroleum, Oil and Gas Development Company, Attock Refinery and TRG.