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PSX lacks trading interest amid Covid, weak rupee

KARACHI: Stock market remained subdued on the first trading day after a three-day holiday. With the weekend ahead and nothing to cheer, investors thought it wiser to wait until the market opens next week.

The KSE-100 index remained range-bound, moving between the intraday high and low by 73 and 187 points before finishing off Friday’s second session at a loss of 80.10 points, or 0.17 per cent, at 47,793.

Investors mood was spoiled with the slide of the rupee in interbank market; the spike in the coronavirus cases in Sindh that prompted the provincial government to clamp down restrictions from Monday, with a ban on indoor and outdoor dining at restaurants; limiting market opening timings; closing down of educational institutional; ban on holding marriage functions and others.

 

Moreover, slump in global crude prices, Pakistan’s current account clocking in much higher-than-expected deficit of $1,644m in June (vs a deficit of $650m in May) and roll-over week ahead together with varying expectations over Monetary Policy Statement (MPS), scheduled for July 27, kept investors on their toes.

Foreign investors sold stocks in the massive sum of $13m. Market strategists said it represented sale of Byco shares by the majority holder Abraaj capital in the Negotiated Deal Market (NDM). These were picked up by local participants with individuals bought stocks worth $7.50m; broker proprietary trading $2.16m and companies $1.69m.

Sector-wise, cement, steel, fertiliser and refinery remained under pressure due to exposure of declining rupee parity on the cost of production. On the other hand, weakening rupee had positive bearing on technology, textile and E&P sectors.

Stocks that contributed negatively include Engro Corp (12 points), MLCF (10 points), PSO (10 points), TRG (9 points) and PSX (9 points).

The trading volume declined 2pc to 314.2m shares from 320.9m shares. The traded value also declined by 7pc to reach $68.3m. Byco was the volume leader with change of hand in 34m shares.

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