Record-breaking rally halts at PSX

In Business
March 30, 2024


A two-day record-breaking rally paused on Friday at the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) as it dropped nearly 140 points over profit-taking by investors, an unimpressive economic growth and a hike in power tariffs.

Federal Minister of Finance Muhammad Aurangzeb visited the PSX, where he asserted that Pakistan was expected to reach an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a three-year Extended Fund Facility by the end of June.

In the morning, trading began on a positive note where market players anticipated a good outcome of government’s efforts to speed up the privatisation of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and other state-owned entities.

However, trading remained range bound as the finance minister indicated that next fiscal year’s budget may not be “pro-growth”.

In addition, the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) raised power tariff and the National Accounts Committee reported just 1% economic growth for 2QFY24, which caused jitters in the market.

The KSE-100 index touched its intra-day low of 66,822.43 around midday. Later, it recouped some of the losses and closed with a decline of 137 points.

“Stocks closed lower amid institutional profit-taking after Pakistan posted a dismal GDP growth of 1% for 2QFY24 and Nepra’s approval for an increase in power tariff under quarterly adjustment,” said Ahsan Mehanti, MD of Arif Habib Corp.

“The finance minister hinted at a reduction in development spending and energy sector reforms ahead of Pakistan-IMF talks on April 14-15. Besides, surging treasury bond yields played the role of catalyst in bearish close of the market,” he added.

At close, the benchmark KSE-100 index recorded a loss of 137.02 points, or 0.20%, and settled at 67,005.11.

Read PSX hits all-time high, crosses 67,200 points

Topline Securities, in its report, said that a range-bound session was observed at the PSX as the KSE-100 index traded between the intra-day high of 166 points and intra-day low of -320 points. It closed at 67,005, down 0.2%.

Major positive contribution of 515 points to the index came from Meezan Bank, Engro Corporation, MCB Bank, Pakistan Tobacco and Colgate-Palmolive.

On the flip side, Fauji Fertiliser, Bank Alfalah, Oil and Gas Development Company, TRG Pakistan and Hub Power pulled the index down by 451 points, Topline added.

Arif Habib Limited (AHL), in its review, remarked that stocks reached new highs with gains of 2.8% week-on-week.

On Friday, Engro Corporation (+1.47%), MCB Bank (+1.61%) and Meezan Bank (+1.15%) were the biggest contributors to the index gains.

Total participation in Secure Logistics book-building came in at Rs611 million versus offer of Rs600 million at a strike price of Rs12 per share, it said. In addition, Bank Alfalah (-2.86%) was set to start due diligence for acquiring Saudi National Bank’s 100% stake after Samba Bank.

Overall trading volumes decreased to 313.04 million shares against Thursday’s tally of 421.1 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs9.9 billion.

Shares of 343 companies were traded. Of these, 136 stocks closed higher, 188 dropped and 19 remained unchanged. Pakistan International Airlines was the volume leader with trading in 39.2 million shares, gaining Rs2.2 to close at Rs31.54. It was followed by PTCL with 32.2 million shares, losing Rs0.15 to close at Rs18.27 and Cnergyico PK with 18.9 million shares, losing Rs0.14 to close at Rs4.42.

Foreign investors were net sellers of shares worth Rs64.2 million, according to the NCCPL.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 30th, 2024.

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