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Stocks lose 487 points over delay in support funds

KARACHI: Stocks re­­mained on the slippery slope for the second day with the KSE-100 index sliding by 487.10 points (1.39 per cent) to close at 34,681.72.

The sell-off in the two days has dragged the index down by 900 points (2.53pc) wiping out almost all the gains that the market had managed in the last three days of the post-budget relief rally the previous week.

The start on Wednesday was positive as the index rose to intra-day high by 17 points. But as the investors’ all-round selling began, turning from modest profit-taking to panic-selling, the index plunged to intra-day low by 560 points.

The market moved in sync with the news flow. Although the assertion by the State Bank of Pakistan Governor that all commitments for the $6 billion International Monetary Fund loan program had been met and the Fund’s Executive Board would consider the approval of the loan in its meeting on July 3, investors were not cheered.

They worried over several issues such as the delay in the activation of the State Enterprise and Market Opportunity Funds and mainly the growing noise on the political front where the government and the opposition had locked horns in the National Assembly over the passage of Finance Bill 2019-20.

Investors ignored the rupee’s slight gains against the dollar after seven days of consecutive decline.

Banks, fertilisers and exploration and production sectors were the leading losers which collectively lost 220 points. Reports of an increase in cement prices by Rs15-20 per bag in the northern region also failed to excite investors, leading to a drop in the stock prices of D. G. Khan Cement, Lucky Cement, Pioneer Cement, Cherat Cement and Maple Leaf Cement.

Stocks that contributed positively include Pakistan Tobacco gaining 6 points, Oil and Gas Development Company 5 points, Gul Ahmed Textile Mills 3 points, Adamjee Insurance Company Ltd 2 points and AGP Ltd 2 points.

Stocks that contributed negatively include MCB Bank Ltd losing 31 points, Pakistan Petroleum Ltd 28 points, Mari Petroleum 26 points, Nestle Pakistan 23 points and Fauji Fertiliser Company 23 points.

Published in Dawn, June 19th, 2019

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