The Pakistan Stock Exchange endured a volatile trading session on Monday as feeble macroeconomic cues adversely affected investor sentiment.
Consequently, the benchmark KSE-100 index failed to sustain the gains posted in the previous session and once again shed value.
Fresh depreciation of the rupee against the US dollar in the inter-bank market and recent hike in petroleum product prices marred the trading environment as jittery investors chose to stay on the sidelines.
In addition, uncertainty about the conclusion of talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and subsequent resumption of $6 billion loan programme further dented the confidence of market participants.
Earlier, trading kicked off with a steep fall, however, the market recouped losses and posted a recovery by midday. Weak investor spirits, stemming from the rupee’s decline and the lack of clarity about the outcome of IMF talks, pulled the index down in final hours.
At close, the benchmark KSE-100 index recorded a decrease of 192.08 points, or 0.43%, to settle at 44,629.45.
Arif Habib Limited, in its report, said that the market came under pressure because of news regarding delay in the resumption of IMF package.
Though the Ministry of Finance highlighted that negotiations were ongoing and underlying terms would be negotiated soon, the investors did not like the uncertainty, which resulted in the index losing 379 points during the session and closing down by 192 points.
Oil and banking stocks were positive earlier in the session, which added a total of 169 points to the index. However, selling pressure eroded the gains and pushed the index into negative territory.
Sectors contributing to the performance included technology (-146 points), cement (-47 points), engineering (-27 points), textile (-24 points) and refinery (-18 points).
Stocks that contributed positively to the index were Habib Bank Limited (+48 points), MCB Bank (+31 points), Oil and Gas Development Company (+30 points), Pakistan Petroleum Limited (+29 points) and Engro Corporation (+27 points).
Stocks that contributed negatively included TRG Pakistan (-88 points), Systems Limited (-47 points), Bank AL Habib (-42 points), Fauji Fertiliser Company (-22 points) and Unity Foods (-17 points).
JS Global analyst Neelum Naz said that the benchmark index had a lacklustre day as it closed at 44,629, down 192 points.
On the news front, the rupee lost further ground and hit Rs173 against the greenback, an all-time low in the inter-bank market.
“Going forward, investors are advised to settle down amid changing economic indicators and avail major dips to accumulate banking and oil and gas exploration sector stocks,” the analyst said.
Overall trading volumes decreased to 248.3 million shares compared with Friday’s tally of 334.3 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs8.8 billion.
Shares of 330 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 110 stocks closed higher, 209 declined and 11 remained unchanged.
Hum Network was the volume leader with 25.1 million shares, gaining Rs0.18 to close at Rs6.14. It was followed by WorldCall Telecom with 20.8 million shares, losing Rs0.11 to close at Rs2.28 and Hascol Petroleum with 13.8 million shares, gaining Rs0.29 to close at Rs5.54.
Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs13.49 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan