Stocks fell 632.77 points or 1.54 per cent in intra-day trade to close the session at 40,564.55 points on Thursday as investor sentiment was dampened by rising Covid-19 cases in the country despite an increase in remittances.
“Redemptions at some large mutual funds drove the whole market down, whereas the lack of positive triggers and continuous buildup of Covid-19 cases stalled the market,” said Saad Ali, Head of Research at Intermarket Securities while speaking to Dawn.
Commercial banks and oil and gas exploration sectors emerged as the top losers, shedding 133.6 and 117.4 points, respectively, during the day.
Sana Tawfik of Arif Habib Ltd said “the market was down on account of profit-taking in oil exploration & production (E&Ps) and banking sectors, the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority’s decision to cut UFG (unaccounted for gas) allowance on the RLNG distribution network to 6.3pc and increasing Covid-19 cases in the country.”
Investor sentiments were also weighed down by the deteriorating coronavirus situation despite the strength of the rupee and improvement in inward workers’ remittances. Market participants ignored the stellar remittance numbers reported by the State Bank of Pakistan in the early hours. Overseas investors remitted $2.3 billion during October — above $2bn for the fifth consecutive month in a row.
Moreover, rupee’s continuous rise against the dollar, up 16 paisa during today’s session to close at 158.33 against the greenback, also failed to help lift investor sentiment.
Market activity improved during the session, with volumes surging to 328.01 million shares from 244.26m while the traded value clocked in at Rs11.31bn. Unity Foods Limited, Soneri Bank Limited and TRG Pakistan Limited led the volume chart.
Stocks that contributed negatively to the index included Mari Petroleum, down 1.61pc, Indus Motor Company, 1.64pc, Pakistan Tobacco, 1.01pc and Attock Refinery Ltd, 7.41pc.