Bears maintained their grip over the Pakistan Stock Exchange on Monday, in line with the preceding session, as speculation about potential deadlock in talks between the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Pakistan took a toll on investor sentiment.
The benchmark KSE-100 index remained largely range bound and shed nearly 150 points by the day’s end.
Market fears of acceptance of strict conditions by Pakistan for resumption of $6 billion IMF loan programme dented confidence at the bourse.
The launch of a much-awaited new platform, called the Designated Time Schedule (DTS), at the bourse failed to create optimism among market participants, who opted to stay on the sidelines.
Moreover, persistent depreciation of the rupee against the US dollar amid concerns over political noise impacted the stock trading environment.
The KSE-100 index dipped as soon as trading began but cherry-picking by investors partially erased the losses in early hours. The market traded in a narrow range for the remaining part of the session, however, a buying spree, emerging in final minutes, wiped off the losses.
At close, the benchmark KSE-100 index recorded a decrease of 160.16 points, or 0.35%, to settle at 45,418.20.
JS Global analyst Neelum Naz said that the benchmark index recorded a lacklustre activity. “Market activity remained dull due to the start of rollover week with the KSE-100 closing at 45,418, down 160 points.”
The analyst said that negative contributors to the index were Meezan Bank, Lucky Cement, Habib Bank Limited, Maple Leaf Cement and Engro Corporation.
On the results front, Fauji Fertiliser Bin Qasim Limited and DG Khan Cement Company announced their financial results with earnings per share of Rs1.76 and Rs2.07 respectively.
“Going forward, investors are advised to buy blue-chip stocks on dips,” the analyst said.
Ahsan Mehanti of Arif Habib Corporation, in a report, said that stocks remained bearish on uncertainty about the outcome of Pakistan-IMF talks for the release of Extended Fund Facility (EFF) loan tranche.
Reports of the IMF seeking government banking deposits in the State Bank’s treasury single account put pressure on the banking sector, he said.
“Foreign outflows, rupee instability and concerns over the ongoing political noise played the role of catalysts in the bearish close of market,” the analyst said.
Overall trading volumes decreased to 165.9 million shares compared with Friday’s tally of 300.7 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs4.98 billion.
Shares of 319 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 156 stocks closed higher, 148 declined and 15 remained unchanged.
Hum Network Limited was the volume leader with 49.5 million shares, losing Rs0.05 to close at Rs6.62. It was followed by WorldCall Telecom with 16.2 million shares, losing Rs0.02 to close at Rs2.35 and Ghani Global Holdings Limited with 9.5 million shares, gaining Rs2.08 to close at Rs29.87.
Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs350.57 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan