KARACHI: The stocks market remained directionless on the last day of the year 2019 with the KSE-100 index closing down by 152.55 points (0.37 per cent) at 40,735.08 after trading in a narrow band between the intraday high and low of 110 and 119 points.
The market mimicked the performance of a day earlier, moving at a slow pace and major sectors, banks, cement and exploration and production taking much of the selling pressure.
Investor activity was low as the volume and value of shares traded stood down from the previous day. Among participants, banks sold stocks worth $2.96 million to book profit that would have a positive impact on their bottom lines for the quarter ended Dec 31.
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Foreigners also sold shares of $2.51m as they rebalanced portfolio for the upcoming year.
While both politics and economy displayed no fireworks, stocks in some of the sectors remained bearish on concerns of dented earnings outlook. Analyst Ahsan Mehanti said that shares closed bearish in view of year-end and institutional profit-taking amid dismal earnings outlook.
Possibility of higher inflation for Dec’19 and foreign outflows played a catalyst role.
The volume increased 7pc to 177.1m shares, from 165.8m while traded value also jumped by 7pc to $45.7m. Stocks that contributed significantly included Unity Foods, K-Electric, Fauji Foods, Silk Bank and Hascol, which formed 34pc of total turnover while sector-wise, power sector led with trading in 22.5m shares.
Sector-wise, banks succumbed to selling pressure for the second day, while index-heavyweight E&P was also hammered.
Among scrips, major laggards were Habib Bank, down 1.2pc, United Bank 2pc, Allied Bank 4.4pc while Engro Corporation also closed in the red. On the flip side, gainers were led by Fauji Fertiliser, up 2.2pc, Kot Addu 2.3pc and Hub Power 0.4pc.
Published in Dawn, January 1st, 2020