PSX closes flat as Omicron, oil prices spook investors

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KARACHI
The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) witnessed another bearish session on Thursday, with the benchmark KSE-100 Index shedding 7.46 points (-0.02 percent) to close at 44,825.97 points.
The market opened on a negative note and remained bearish, shedding over 600 points. However, the market turned around during the last one hour trading and eroded almost all the losses of the day.
According to experts, the market continued to witness a bearish spell owing to the selling pressure amid increasing Covid-19 cases across the country as well as surging crude oil prices which touched seven-year highs a day earlier. The investors remained risk-averse due to the rising number of Covid-19’s new variant Omicron cases in the country, which set a new single-day peak of all five waves on Thursday.
The KSE-100 Index moved in a range of 600.2 points, showing an intraday low of 44,275.2 points and a high of 44,875.4 points. Among other indices, the KSE All Share Index shed 13.74 points (-0.04 percent) to close at 30,750.03 points, while KMI All Share Islamic Index gained 65.85 points (+0.3 percent) to close at 22,165.29 points.
A total of 359 companies traded shares in the stock exchange, out of them shares of 169 closed up, shares of 168 closed down while shares of 22 companies remained unchanged. Out of 94 traded companies in the KSE-100 Index, 51 closed up, 40 closed down and three remained unchanged.
The overall market volumes increased by 17.27 million to 254.21 million shares. Total volumes traded for the KSE-100 Index increased by 12.84 million to 113.66 million shares. The number of total trades decreased by 5,829 to 108,957, while the value traded decreased by Rs0.92 billion to Rs7.74 billion. Overall, market capitalisation decreased by Rs3.44 billion.
Among scrips, WTL topped the volumes with 27.95 million shares, followed by CNERGY (18.84 million) and GGL (17.5 million). Stocks that contributed significantly to the volumes included WTL, CNERGY, GGL, TELE, and KEL, which formed over 36 percent of total volumes.
In terms of rupee, SFL remained the top gainer and witnessed an increase of Rs63 per share, closing at Rs913 whereas the runner-up was SIEM, the share price of which climbed up by Rs17.16 to Rs638.16. NESTLE remained the top loser in terms of rupee and witnessed a decrease of Rs100 per share, closing at Rs5,400, followed by SAPT, the share price of which declined by Rs84 to close at Rs1,040 per share.
The sectors taking the index towards south were technology & communication with 83 points, fertilizer (23 points), investment banks / investment companies / securities companies (18 points), commercial banks (10 points) and refinery (7 points). The most points taken off the index were by TRG which stripped the index of 87 points followed by MCB (17 points), ENGRO (11 points), DAWH (10 points) and SYS (9 points).
The sectors taking the index towards north were cement with 66 points, power generation & distribution (29 points), oil & gas exploration companies (21 points), engineering (9 points) and oil & gas marketing companies (8 points). The most points added to the index were by KAPCO which contributed 23 points followed by PPL (15 points), MLCF (15 points), AVN (15 points) and BAHL (13 points).