KARACHI  - Stock market continued to show volatility as the benchmark KSE-100 index fluctuated between low 241 points and high 964 points to close at 45,413.42 level, up 19.13 points. 

Positivity prevailed in the initial hours of the trading session on news of US dollar rise to its 2.5 year high against the Pakistan rupee in the interbank market touching Rs108.2 level but soon lost sheen due to overall lack of clarity over ongoing political situation in the country, said analyst Arhum Ghous at JS Global. 

E&P sector extended its previous day gains as oil prices extended their longest winning streak in more than seven years, touching the strongest level in a month. POL (+4.12pc) and PPL (+4.36pc) were the major gainers of the sector. Mixed sentiment were witnessed in the banking sector as heavyweights HBL (-2.94pc) and UBL (-0.70pc) closed in the red zone whereas MCB (+1.96pc) closed in the green zone. Selling pressure was seen in the steel sector where ISL (-5pc), INIL (-5pc) and ASTL (-5pc) lost value to close in the red zone. PAEL (-5pc) closed on its lower circuit as dollar surged which is negative for the company as it imports raw material for its production. Following the same trend, auto sector lost value where PSMC (-5pc), HCAR (-4.65pc) and INDU (-3.41pc) closed in the red zone. 

Adnan Sami Sheikh at Topline brokerage said that in a surprise move today, the Pakistani rupee slid 3 percent versus the US dollar. The dollar was bid up aggressively intraday, with the highest trade executing at Rs108.5 after which it was managed back to Rs108.24-34. While this move was widely expected, its timing may raise questions given domestic political situation and Maryam Nawaz’s JIT appearance. 

Investors were busy repositioning their portfolios evident by the sector specific movements; losers were Engineering (-4.3pc), Refinery (-3.9pc), Cable & Electrical (-3.8pc), Auto Assembler (-3.3pc), Cement (-1.6pc), Pharma (-1.4pc); as they likely believe rupee depreciation may spike raw material costs (finished imports would also become costlier & those with pricing power would pass thru). Meanwhile, dollar hedge sectors like E&P’s (+3.2pc), Textile (+1.8pc), Transport (1.6pc) and Power (+1.1pc) had a field day. Index point leaders were HUBC (+5pc), PPL (+4.4pc), OGDC (+2.4pc), POL (+4.1pc) & MCB (+2pc) adding 266 points, whereas HBL (-2.9pc), LUCK (-2.1pc), PAEL (-5pc), HCAR (-4.7pc) & ISL (-5pc) withheld 211 points. 

 Analyst Mehanti said stocks closed higher led by oil and fertiliser scrips amid surge in global crude oil prices and the government’s assurance for settlement of fertiliser subsidies claims. Late-session pressure was witnessed in scrips across the board on concerns over rupee depreciation and foreign outflows. Participation further improved as volumes gained 7 percent to 204 million shares, while traded value climbed 29 percent to Rs12.5 billion/$119.2 million.