The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) turned into a sea of red on Wednesday, with the benchmark KSE-100 Index shedding 673.98 points (-1.50 percent) to close at 44,833.43 points.
The market opened on a positive note but remained volatile during the next half an hour before turning bearish due to the rising number of Omicron cases and surging crude oil prices. The market shed over 350 points in the last one hour trading.
The KSE-100 Index moved in a range of 841.53 points, showing an intraday low of 44,734.24 points and a high of 45,575.77 points. Among other indices, the KSE All Share Index shed 395.39 points (-1.27 percent) to close at 31,159.16 points, while KMI All Share Islamic Index shed 339.89 points (-1.51 percent) to close at 22,099.44 points.
A total of 376 companies traded shares in the stock exchange, out of them shares of 57 closed up, shares of 302 closed down while shares of 17 companies remained unchanged. Out of 92 traded companies in the KSE-100 Index, 5 closed up, 83 closed down and four remained unchanged.
The overall market volumes increased by 71.80 million to 236.93 million shares. Total volumes traded for the KSE-100 Index increased by 22.22 million to 100.82 million shares. The number of total trades increased by 22,146 to 114,786, while the value traded increased by Rs1.10 billion to Rs8.66 billion. Overall, market capitalisation decreased by Rs99.92 billion.
Among scrips, WTL topped the volumes with 27.33 million shares, followed by TRG (20.19 million) and TELE (18.79 million). Stocks that contributed significantly to the volumes included WTL, TRG, TELE, CNERGY and HASCOL, which formed over 39 percent of total volumes.
In terms of rupee, UPFL remained the top gainer for the second straight day and witnessed an increase of Rs100 per share, closing at Rs20,999 whereas the runner-up was SAPT, the share price of which climbed up by Rs74 to Rs1,124. BATA remained the top loser in terms of rupee for the second day in a row and witnessed a decrease of Rs98 per share, closing at Rs1,902, followed by COLG, the share price of which declined by Rs78.99 to close at Rs2,420.01 per share.
The sectors taking the index towards south were cement with 101 points, technology & communication (99 points), commercial banks (73 points), oil & gas exploration companies (50 points) and fertilizer (48 points). The most points taken off the index were by TRG which stripped the index of 94 points followed by LUCK (39 points), PSO (33 points), and ENGRO and MCB (22 points each).
The sector taking the index towards north was real estate investment trust with one point. The most points added to the index were by HMB which contributed 9 points followed by KAPCO (8 points), and BAFL, DCR and ICI (one point each).
According to experts, the market turned bearish as investors remained risk-averse due to the rising number of Covid-19’s new variant Omicron cases in the country and higher international oil prices. They said that the National Command and Operation Centre announced some new restrictions, which forced the investors to go for selling. The main selling pressure came from the mutual funds.