PSX ends winning streak as investors pause

In Business
April 17, 2024


Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) on Tuesday recorded its first decline following six consecutive positive sessions over institutional profit-taking coupled with uncertainty surrounding talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a new loan programme and geopolitical tensions.

Earlier, trading commenced on a robust note, with the KSE-100 index surging to the intra-day high of 71,092.61 points before midday. However, as the day progressed, the market began to decline due to a shift in investor sentiment, driven by several factors.

These included IMF’s conditions for tax policy reforms, easing of international crude oil prices and a slump in global equities.

Sectors like oil and gas marketing, power generation, fertiliser and cement came under selling pressure, which negatively impacted the overall market.

Consequently, all earlier gains were erased and the index dipped to the intra-day low of 70,405.24 points before the end of trading. Despite posting losses, the bourse managed to stay above the 70,000 mark.

“Stocks closed lower amid concerns over institutional profit-taking, uncertainty about the outcome of Pakistan-IMF talks for a new bailout programme and geopolitical tensions,” said Ahsan Mehanti, MD of Arif Habib Corp.

“IMF’s conditions for tax policy reforms and excise duty on the industrial sector, weak global crude prices and a slump in global equities played the role of catalysts in bearish close at the PSX.”

At close, the benchmark KSE-100 index recorded a decline of 60.92 points, or 0.09%, and settled at 70,483.66.

Topline Securities, in its report, said Pakistan’s stock market wrapped up its trading session at 70,484, with a slight decline of 0.09%, or 61 points.

“Contributing to the negative movement was sectors like oil and gas marketing, power generation, fertiliser and cement where companies including Fauji Fertiliser, Engro Fertilisers, Pakistan State Oil, Hub Power and Fauji Cement collectively shed 146 points,” it said.

On the flip side, Habib Bank, Bank AL Habib and Mari Petroleum made a positive contribution by adding a total of 189 points, Topline added.

In its review, Arif Habib Limited (AHL) said “early gains were given up with the KSE-100 seeing its first decline following six consecutive positive closes”.

Some 53 shares rose while 42 fell with Habib Bank (+4.37%), Bank Alfalah (+3.6%) and Mari Petroleum (+1.39%) being the biggest contributors to the index gains, it said, adding that the largest drags were Fauji Fertiliser (-2.29%), Dawood Hercules Corporation (-1.95%) and Pakistan Services (-5.28%).

JS Global analyst Muhammad Shuja Qureshi said that the KSE-100 lost 61 points to close at 70,484.

“Bulk of the profit-taking was witnessed in auto, cement and refinery stocks. However, there was investor interest in selective stocks in the banking sector where Bank AL Habib and Habib Bank posted decent gains,” he said. “Investors are advised to accumulate value stocks on dips.”

Overall trading volumes decreased to 548.4 million shares against Monday’s tally of 555.2 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs21.03 billion.

Shares of 369 companies were traded. Of these, 175 stocks closed higher, 168 dropped and 26 remained unchanged.

WorldCall Telecom was the volume leader with trading in 91.6 million shares, losing Rs0.03 to close at Rs1.36. It was followed by Kohinoor Spinning with 34.4 million shares, gaining Rs0.56 to close at Rs4.88 and Air Link Communication with 18.98 million shares, gaining Rs2.36 to close at Rs67.

Foreign investors were net buyers of shares worth Rs791.6 million, according to the NCCPL.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 17th, 2024.

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