KARACHI: Pakistan stocks took a downturn after Biden-fuelled rally yesterday, as investors remained worried over resurgence of COVID-19 in China and profit-taking followed by previous gains. The market also remained a little cautious as the State Bank of Pakistan had to announce the monetary policy.

The Karachi Share Index (KSE-100) lost 116.42 points (0.25 per cent) after closing at 45,868.04 points against the previous closing of 45,984.46 points. The market went as high as 46,115.10 points during intra-day trading, while recorded as low as 45,693 points.

Trading volume declined to 430.62 million shares today as compared to 606.38 million traded in the previous session, according to PSX website data. The daily traded value declined to Rs 15.83 billion from Rs 17.92 billion in the previous session, the data said.

The market opened the day in positive as an extension of previous day’s bullish rally that pushed the index up to 46,115 points with a jump of 130 points in the first hour of the trade. However, as the investors adapted cautious approach on back of news regarding the resurgence of COVID cases in China increased pressure on prices.

Dull interest in the financial sector was observed as the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) was set to announce policy rate by evening. The weekend factor and fear of unpleasant development also convinced investors to lighten portfolios.

It seems quite normal for the markets to behave like this after a rally and in a little uncertain conditions, traders and researchers said. It almost a regional trend as Asian markets fell on Friday as investors took a breather following a strong week for global equities as Joe Biden assumed the office. Oil prices also dipped today.

Oil prices dropped on Friday, retreating further from a 11-month high hit last week, weighed down by worries that new pandemic restrictions in China which will curb the fuel demand in the world’s biggest oil importer.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures dropped 53 cents, or 1%, to $52.60 a barrel at 0445 GMT, after slipping 18 cents on Thursday.

Brent crude futures fell 45 cents, or 0.8%, to $55.65 a barrel, erasing a 2 cent gain on Thursday.

The commercial hub of Shanghai reported its first locally transmitted cases in two months on Thursday, and Beijing is urging people not to travel during the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday.

The share price of Rafhan Maize increased by Rs 411 to Rs 10,890 while ICI Pakistan gained Rs 17.03 to Rs 859.08. On the other hand, Nestle Pakistan lost Rs 25 today to close at Rs 6,575 while Mari Petroleum lost Rs 23.52 to close at Rs 1,427.08


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