Stocks close flat as investors take a breather
KARACHI: The four-day massive rally at the stock market was brought to an abrupt end on last trading day of the week. The KSE-100 index closed almost flat on Friday with minor pull back by 25.72 points (0.06 per cent) at 41,056.
Investors decided to book profit ahead of the weekend which triggered alternative bouts of buying and selling that kept the index range-bound. Foreigners sold shares worth $1.79 million.
There was nothing in the newsbag that could have scared investors to a sell-off, but as the index remained above the 41,000 level, domestic participants thought it wiser to allow the market to cool-off. They were relieved over the smooth rollover of the futures contracts. Mixed bag of financial results was also unveiled during the week.
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Semblance of improvement in the economy post Covid-19 gave hope of resumption of activity in all sectors going forward. Investors also relished the announcement of current account surplus in July, which was mainly a result of a declining trade deficit and higher remittances. Trade deficit decreased 12pc month-on-month solely on the back of 20pc month-on-month higher exports.
Moreover, liquid foreign exchange reserves of the country increased by $67m to $19.722 billion on the week ended August 21. On the political side, there was lot of sound and fury in the parliament by the opposition, but did not signify any danger to the government.
Traded value stood down 58pc over the previous day at $50m while volume plunged 56pc to 239m shares with major contribution coming from TRG, Hascol Petroleum, Pakistan Refinery, BankIslami and Silk Bank.
Banking, chemicals and pharmaceutical sectors were major movers while cement, automobiles and exploration and production shed values. Analysts expect the market to remain sideways next week in absence of any immediate triggers.