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Business

March 9, 2018

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Stocks extend losses as investors remain cautious on economic outlook

Stocks fell 0.85 percent on Thursday, continuing the bearish spree owing to rising concerns on macroeconomic indicators, declining reserves, prevailing political uncertainty, and lack of any trigger, dealers said.

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An analyst at Arif Habib Limited said stocks saw a dip, courtesy of IMF economic outlook and concerns on fiscal instability, while news related to the National Accountability Bureau opening cases against 52 companies marred the sentiment in the market.

“Despite maintaining positive outlook, mutual funds are reluctant in aggressive buying and only resorting to rebalancing their portfolios,” the analyst said.

Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) benchmark KSE-100 shares index shed 0.85 percent or 368.44 points to close at 43,072.74 points.

KSE-30 shares index shed 1.01 percent or 220.71 points to close at 21,624.62 points.

As many as 349 scrips were active of which 80 advanced, 244 declined and 25 remained unchanged.

The ready market volumes stood at 163.265 million shares as compared with the turnover of 142.428 million shares a day earlier.

“Stock investors remained concerned amid rising uncertainty over macroeconomic indicators and worries on depleting foreign exchange reveres,” an analyst at Topline Securities said.

Dealers said absence of foreign selling was a welcome respite for the market, in the presence of which the market could have seen serious bantering.

Blue-chip scrips such as DG Khan Cement down 2.2 percent, United Bank down 0.31 percent, Habib Bank down 1.5 percent, Sui Southern Gas down 0.8 percent, and Sui Northern Gas down 1.75 percent saw selling pressure, however, serious interest developed when these scrips reached close to the lower circuit.

Avanceon Limited gained 3.85 percent as investors reacted to the company’s news regarding its newly undertaken projects in the UAE and Doha. Gandhara Nissan closed at its upper cap as investors are betting that the company would be able to launch Nissan Datsun car.

Lower volume in the market suggests resistance of sellers to sell at all rates, which reignites the hope of a hike once negativity settles.

Companies with the highest gains included National Refinery, up Rs15.59 to close at Rs449.9/share, and Faisal Spinning, up Rs13.01 to close at Rs328/share.

Companies with most losses included Nestle Pakistan, down Rs376.78 to close at Rs12,222.22/share, and Unilever Foods, down Rs150 to end at Rs9,350/share.

Highest volumes were witnessed in Azgard Nine with a turnover of 12.7 million shares. The scrip shed 88 paisas to close at Rs15.96/share.

K-Electric was second with a turnover of 9.03 million shares. It shed 12 paisas to close at Rs6.17/share.

Pak electron was third with a turnover of 8.9 million shares. It shed Rs1.95 to close at Rs45.21/share.

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