Investors yet again struggled to find a catalyst to break beyond the 48,000 index level at benchmark KSE-100 last week, as heavy selling pressure owing to a spread of Delta variant of Covid-19, foreign investors’ settlement and CGT payments kept the index under pressure. The PSX benchmark KSE-100 index exhibited a range bound session as it clocked at 47,055 level inching down from 47, 703 points- previous weeks closing, after trading between the weekly high and low of 47,931 and 46,925 points respectively Investor sentiment remained lukewarm primarily due to CGT payment settlements by the investors for the month of June, since the National Clearing Company of Pakistan limited (NCCPL) collected June’s payment separately after it collected CGT for the 11 months till May 2021. Foreign investors have particularly been concerned about the developing situation in Afghanistan that could have implications for an otherwise peaceful law and order situation in Pakistan, as they have recorded a net sale of over $5.4 million. The market also reacted to the resurgence of Covid -19 and return of government lockdowns. Sindh government announced implementation of fresh lockdown measures, raising investors’ fears of widespread Covid SOPs which could possibly hurt economic activity. Meanwhile, the Pakistani rupee continued its downward slide, as latest data indicates that the currency shed 3.1 percent of its value against the US dollar in the interbank market last month, while year-to-date decline was 1.62 percent, which also weighed on investor sentiment. During the week, selling pressure was primarily witnessed in index heavy weights, Banks, Exploration and Production, Cement, Power and Technology sectors on lockdown concern as well as rollover positions, whereby investors preferred selling in the ready market and bought futures. In the opening session of the week, the index remained flat, with index heavyweight automobile, cement and oil and gas marketing companies witnessing modest selling amid uncertainty. On the contrary, Banks, fertiliser, exploration and production sectors outshined the overall market, despite low volumes. However, the index lost 1.5 percent by the week’s closing and clocked at 47,055 level. Even multiple fresh triggers failed to impress market participants, as the State Bank of Pakistan’s decision to hold the policy rate at 7pc, and International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s recognition of Pakistan’s robust economic activity, was expected to inject fresh interest in the market. During the week, despite subdued index performance, the average traded volume increased by 27.5 percent to 405 million shares, while the traded value increased by 14.5 percent to settle at $ 81.3 million. According to NCCPL, among foreign investors’ net trade; foreign corporates sold about $5.7 million worth of equities, overseas Pakistanis mopped up $0.31 million worth of stocks and foreign individuals sold $10,000 worth of stocks, taking the total net sell to about $5.4 million worth of stocks. Among the local investors, individuals, companies and brokers led the selling chart and offloaded about $3.56 million and $1.76 million and $1.52 million worth of equities. However, Mutual funds, banks and insurance companies led the buying chart and mopped up $3.9 million, $1.25 million and $1.02 million worth of equities. The market is expected to see strong activity in the following week as the 4QFY21 results season comes in full swing. However, the fourth wave of Covid in July may lead to further investor flight.