After a strong performance during preceding weeks, investors opted for profit taking this week, taking the index down to 40,887 or 0.5% week-on-week (WoW). Moreover, concerns regarding the economic scenario stand firmly in place, particularly the external account and the fiscal deficit, which also curbed the market momentum, said an equity analyst Ahmed Lakhani. Refreshingly though, volumes were slightly higher, up by 10% WoW where an average 191 million shares per day were traded during the week, whereas average daily traded value (in dollar terms) also increased by 26% WoW. Looking at sector performance during the week, Cements (+3.4% WoW) were among the outperformers, on account of declining international coal prices. Weaker global crude oil prices (down 5% WoW) led to an underperformance in E&Ps (down 1.5% WoW). Pharmas (+3.6% WoW) were among the major outperformers during the week, which was likely due to strong CPI numbers for the month of Jan-2019, given that price increases for medicinal products have been linked by the government to annual CPI inflation. Foreigners remained net buyers during the week, with net buying of US$12.2 million, which was lower than US$12.3 million during the previous week. This is the 3rd consecutive week for net foreign buying, where Banking sector witnessed the highest net buying by foreigners (US$4.8mn). Other major news during the week included government has proposed to waive off Rs200bn under GIDC settlement mechanism, the Finance Minister has ruled out downward revision of FBR revenue target, Ghandara Nissan (GHNL) is likely to begin rolling out three Datsun models in 2020, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) reserves increased by US$38 million to US$8.192 billion on a weekly basis, Pakistan has signed US$10 billion gas pipeline agreement with Russia, and Pakistan National Shipping Corp (PNSC) has bought 2 LR-1 tankers, taking total fleet size to 11. Published in Daily Times, February 10th 2019.