KARACHI: Selling intensified on Friday as the KSE-100 index drifted lower on the fifth day of the week, with a loss of 130.61 points (0.39 per cent) to settle at 33,632.19.

Volumes rose to 208 million shares from 170m shares which brokers believe was a healthy sign for the market.

Amongst significant players, ENGRO crossed the psychological barrier of Rs300 to close at Rs302.88 with strong volumes on Friday.

One disconcerting fact was the persistent sale of stocks by foreign investors, which saw a net portfolio outflow at $5.91m.

Over the week, the foreign portfolio recorded outflow of $9.8m, representing quite the opposite trend of inflow of $9.3m in the previous week. Analyst Ahsan Mehanti at Arif Habib Corp stated that the stocks closed bearish on rising political uncertainty, lower WTI crude oil prices, falling banking spreads and thin margins in cement sector.

Samar Iqbal, VP Equity Sales at Topline Securities, commented that the bourse closed in the negative on Friday after late selling in index heavy-weight MCB bank.Investors seemed to ignore the strong financial results posted by the banking, cement and auto sectors and indications of a cut in the SBP discount rate amid falling PIB yields.

Extended profit-taking was seen in cement stocks as investors expected subdued dispatch figures for February.

In banking sector, FABL and BAFL rallied after announcing strong December results.

FABL announced bonus of 15pc and earnings per share of Rs2.37 versus last year’s eps of Rs1.77, which helped its stock hit ‘upper-circuit’.

Institutional support was seen in ENGRO and EFERT with healthy volumes.

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