The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) succumbed to selling pressure on Thursday as investor sentiment dampened due to the emergence of Omicron, the latest variant of Covid-19. The benchmark KSE-100 index lost 328.03 points or 0.75 percent as it closed at 43,518.84 points.
The investors reacted to speculations revolving around another cycle of smart lockdowns and their impact on the economy. Moreover, constant volatility of the Pakistani rupee (PKR) along with expectations of a spike in interest rate in the monetary policy announcement on Dec 14 contributed to bears dominating the stock market according to Arif Habib Ltd.
Market participation dropped by 14 percent to 200.5 million shares while the value of traded shares rose by 25percent to $49.3m.
Sectors with a negative contribution to the benchmark index included cement (124.74 points), commercial banking (118.87 points), pharmaceutical (27.87 points), textile composite (25 points), and power generation and distribution (17.93 points).
Stocks that made a significant positive contribution to the traded volume included TRG Pakistan Ltd (25.72m shares), TeleCard Ltd (13.27m shares), Hascol Petroleum Ltd (12.53m shares), Pakistan Petroleum Ltd (9.67m shares), and WorldCall Telecom Ltd (9.54m shares).
Foreign investors remained net sellers as they offloaded shares worth $0.91m on a net basis.
Shares adding to the index were Pakistan Petroleum Ltd. (52.59 points), Oil and Gas Development Company Ltd. (21.70 points), TRG Pakistan Ltd. (15.03 points), Fauji Fertiliser Company Ltd. (14.90 points), and Engro Polymer and Chemicals Ltd. (13.01 points).
Stocks that dragged the maximum points from the index included Lucky Cement Ltd (53.07 points), Habib Bank Ltd (32.65 points), Meezan Bank Ltd (24.01 points), D.G. Khan Cement Company Ltd (19.40 points), and Cherat Cement Company Ltd (15.06 points).
Stocks that incurred the biggest losses in percentage terms included Azgard Nine Ltd, which dropped by 7.54percent, followed by Standard Chartered Bank Pakistan Ltd (5.72pc), Avanceon Ltd (5.6pc), Yousaf Weaving Mills Ltd (5.47pc) and D.G. Khan Cement Company Ltd (4.97pc).