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Pakistan stocks opened the week on a negative note, with the benchmark KSE-100 Index slipping 151 points as oil prices and rapidly rising coronavirus cases took toll on investor sentiment.

The index opened negative, and dropped to an intra-day low of 45,385.97, a fall of over 370 points.

At close, however, the index finished with trimmed losses to end at 45,612.2, a decrease of 151.25 points or 0.33%

“Investor concern over higher international prices of commodities led the market to open negative … initial pressure came from TRG where the stock touched its lower limit in the first hour of the session, followed suit by other technology stocks,” said Topline Securities in its post-market comment.

Meanwhile, Arif Habib Limited (AHL), in its comment, said the market remained under pressure due to uptick in Covid-19 cases and higher international oil prices.

"Market opened on a bleak note and stayed dull throughout the day even after passing of the mini-budget by the President and recovery of PKR against dollar as investors remained risk-averse due to alarming Covid-19 numbers.

"Cement sector stayed in the red due to uptick in international coal prices. In the last trading hour, value buying was observed. Activity continued to remain side-ways as market witnessed hefty volumes in the 3rd tier stocks."

On the economic front, the government decided to increase petrol prices from Rs144.82 to Rs147.83 for last 15 days of January.

On the corporate front, the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) held a gong ceremony to announce the launch of Alfalah Consumer Index Exchange Traded Fund (ACIETF). The launch marks the listing of the sixth ETF on the bourse.

Range-bound trading as KSE-100 ends flat

Volumes decreased substantially, clocking in at 173.5 million on the all-share index, down from 239.98 million on Friday. The value of shares traded increased, albeit marginally, to Rs6.1 billion.

WorldCall Telecom was the volume leader with 25.49 million shares, followed by TRG Pakistan Limited with 20.08 million shares, and Cnergyico PK with 12.9 million shares.

Shares of 336 companies were traded on Monday, of which 102 registered an increase, 218 recorded a fall, and 16 remained unchanged.

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