Stocks add 206 focuses in cautious trade

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Regular in­­vestors in equities know that it’s almost impossible to ‘second-guess’ the market. It didn’t, therefore, surprise many when the market opened positive on Friday and after dull and drab trading during most of the week. The KSE-100 index gained 206 points, or 0.43 percent, and closed the second session at 47,834 points.

Investor participation was low as 349m shares of the worth of Rs14.6 billion came up for trading, down 31pc from 506m shares worth Rs15.5bn that changed hands each day ago. Insurance companies were the principal buyers who re-located their portfolio before the arrival of the result season and were the leading buyers of scrips worth $7.91m. Individuals trimmed their holdings by $4.22m as most felt that it had been prudent to err on the side of caution.

The biggest worry on the minds of investors was the spike in coronavirus cases. it had been indicated by NCOC head Asad Umar that around 88pc of the latest Covid cases in Pakistan were in those that weren’t vaccinated.

The Sindh government had already initiated a number of measures effective on Friday including the closure of indoor dining and cinemas, beaches, inland tourist resorts also as schools from Class 1-8. The upcoming corporate results, the Eid holidays, volatile situation in Afghanistan, and therefore the roll-over week presented more uncertainties. Inves­tors were also peeved at the rise in petrol prices by Rs5.40 a liter.

Among scrips, Lucky Cement leapt forward because the company announced a collaboration with Samsung. The technology sector also contributed positively to the index, with Systems and AVN hitting upper circuits. Sector-wise banks, textile, cement, steel traded within the positive zone.

The E&P sector saw a dip in POL, following weakness in international petroleum prices. Stocks that contributed positively to the index included Lucky Cement (59 points), System Ltd (47 points), HBL (27 points), UBL (17 points), and BAFL (13 points). Stocks that pulled down the index were POL (19 points), PSX (9 points), Engro Corp (8 points), PSO (6 points), and Mari Petroleum (5 points).

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