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POLITICAL NOISE RESTRICTS KSE-100 INDEX UPWARD MOVEMENT

The heightened political noise as well as the Panama episode being heard by the apex court continued to have an adverse impact on the trading activity reflected in the stagnant market activity dragging the KSE-100 Index by 54 points on the last trading session of the week on Friday.

The Index closed in red at 49,007 amid extremely unimpressive market volumes of 275 million all shares as most of the investors including foreign institutional portfolios preferred to book profits. In this backdrop volatility gripped the Index during the week and kept it from breaching 50,000 level.

Major contributors towards this volatility were the Panama gate hearing, worsening law & order situation and concerns over tighter regulation of stockbrokers. Index closed the week at 49,008pts, marginally down by 0.7% WoW. Foreign Institutions Portfolio Investment (FIPI) registered net outflow of US$4.8mn. Average volume traded decreased by 9% WoW while average value traded decreased by 18% WoW.

However, the energy, cement and steel based stocks continued to attract investors on the back of booming real estate, construction and development activity across the country. Meanwhile international oil prices fell slightly in the previous session after EIA reported a small build of 0.6 million barrels, compared with the expectations for a build of 3.4 million barrels. However, the losses were limited as inventories were well below expectations. Investors will look for Baker Hughes rigs count data.

Among others the prominent stocks were including Indus Dyeing, Bestway Cement, Nestle Pakistan Limited, Habib Metro Bank and Millat Tractors which emerged as the major gainers while Bank of Punjab, Hascol Petroleum Limited, Ghani Glass, IGI Insurance, and Nishat Power Ltd were the major losers in the benchmark KSE-100 this week.

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