KARACHI: The bearish spell on bourse extended to the fourth day on Friday as the KSE-100 index tumbled by 274 points, or 0.69 per cent, to close at 39,464.65. The index has suffered a cumulative loss of 558 points in the last four trading sessions.
Foreign investors were net sellers of $0.38 million worth stocks on Friday. Some market participants attributed the overall weak sentiments to foreign flows connected to emerging market upgrade that have yet to begin in earnest.
Volume of shares traded declined to 329m from 366m a day ago while trading value slipped to Rs12.6 billion from Rs13.7bn.
The session was marked by the collapse of the cement sector, which accounted for 129-point erosion in the index. Among major cement shares, Maple Leaf (MLCF) and Kohat Cement (KOHC) spiralled downwards to their ‘lower locks’ while DG Khan Cement (DGKC; -2.83pc), Lucky Cement (LUCK; -2.87pc), Cherat Cement (CHCC; -2.38pc) and Fauji Cement (FCCL; -1.13pc) traded deep into the red as investors were spooked by huge expansions by companies which would raise the capacity by 50pc and weaken the industry’s pricing power.
The decline in Western Texas Intermediate and Brent crude oil prices to $43.5 and $46 a barrel, respectively, led to profit-taking in shares of some exploration and production firms and oil-marketing companies.
The Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDC; -1.46pc), Pakistan Oilfields (POL; -2.17pc), Pakistan Petroleum (PPL; -0.72pc) and Mari Petroleum (MARI; -2.13pc) all traded in the red amid weak outlook for oil.
Autos gave into selling pressure after outperforming the market for most of the week, with Honda Atlas Cars (HCAR; -1.03pc), Pakistan Suzuki (PSMC; -1.29pc) and Indus Motor (INDU; -0.14pc) all closing in the red. Ghandhara Insudtries (GHNI), however, managed to hit its upper lock.
Banks and fertilisers also remained in the negative.
Analyst Ahsan Mehanti commented that the stocks closed bearish amid consolidation post major earning announcements at the Pakistan Stock Exchange. Trade remained higher in second- and third-tier scrips on strong valuations.
“Institutional profit-taking in blue-chip stocks and foreign outflows played a catalyst role in bearish close,” he said.