The Pakistan Stock Exchange on Friday, after two consecutive gains, succumbed to selling pressure as investors panicked to sell after the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) decided to keep Pakistan on the grey list.

Investors had a positive outcome in mind from the FATF’s meeting but they were stunned by their decision. Although the global watchdog for financial crimes ruled out the possibility of blacklisting the country as it had implemented most of the action plan, market sentiment took a hit due to keeping the country in the grey list for an additional four months till February 2022.

Moreover, a slight weakening of the rupee against the greenback during the day further spread pessimism and marred the trading environment.

Bulls opted to stay on the sidelines over speculation of a potential delay in the resumption of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) $6 billion loan program.

Index heavyweight sectors including fertilizer, automobile, chemical, and bank faced stock selling by investors as they closed in the negative zone.

The first half of Friday’s session began on a positive note, however, the market dipped soon afterward, weighed down by FATF’s decision on Pakistan. The market staged a partial recovery towards the end, closing the first half with a loss of 332 points.

The KSE-100 index remained range-bound in the second half but a late-session rally helped it recoup some of the losses.

At close, the benchmark KSE-100 index recorded a decrease of 243.04 points, or 0.53%, to settle at 45,578.36.

JS Global analyst Neelam Naz said that the KSE-100 index made a correction from the intra-day low of -641 points and managed to close at 45,578, down 243 points.

The analyst said, “Going forward, next week the market can continue its upward journey after completing its correction soon, therefore, investors are advised to view any dips as a buying opportunity mainly in blue-chip stocks.”

Negative contributors to the index were TRG Pakistan, Engro Corporation, Pakistan Petroleum, and Pakistan State Oil.

Overall trading volumes decreased to 300.7 million shares compared with Thursday’s tally of 338.3 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs11.8 billion.

Shares of 346 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 129 stocks closed higher, 208 declined and nine remained unchanged.

Hum Network was the volume leader with 35.9 million shares, gaining Rs0.12 to close at Rs6.67. It was followed by Unity Foods with 22.5 million shares, losing Rs0.48 to close at Rs29.31, and WorldCall Telecom with 21.1 million shares, losing Rs0.06 to close at Rs2.37.

According to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan, Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs281.8 million worth of shares during the trading session.

The story was originally published here.


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