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Stocks tumble on fears of power tariff hike

KARACHI:

The Pakistan Stock Exchange took a battering on Monday over a deteriorating macroeconomic outlook and the benchmark KSE-100 index dived 648 points to close below the 44,000-point mark.
The possibility of a further hike in electricity tariff to pave the way for resumption of $6 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan programme dented investor interest and triggered across-the-board selling.
Concerns over rising food and commodity prices coupled with stock selling by foreign investors further supported the market’s decline.
Investor pessimism sparked profit-booking in index-heavy fertiliser, cement and oil and gas marketing sectors, which closed in the red.
Earlier, trading began with minor ups and downs but soon after the KSE-100 index came under the control of bears and remained in the negative zone for the rest of the day.
Though market participants made a few attempts to erase the losses, they proved futile and the bourse closed the day with losses.
At close, the benchmark KSE-100 index recorded a decrease of 647.89 points, or 1.46%, to settle at 43,829.35.
Arif Habib Limited, in its report, said that the market tumbled again on concerns over high energy and commodity prices as well as prospects of further electricity tariff hikes that could lead to the erosion of purchasing power and economic contraction.
Foreigners continued to sell stocks without hesitation that brought the index down by 759 points during the session. It closed the day lower by 648 points.
An increase in international crude oil prices failed to have any impact on stock prices of exploration and production companies, it said.
Selling pressure was witnessed across the board, however, technology, cement, oil and gas marketing companies contributed to the downward trend.
Sectors contributing to the performance included technology (-202 points), cement (-121 points), bank (-56 points), engineering (-49 points) and oil and gas marketing companies (-36 points).
Stocks that contributed positively to the index were Pakistan Petroleum Limited (+21 points), Colgate-Palmolive Pakistan (+9 points), Hub Power Company (+8 points), Allied Bank Limited (+7 points) and Feroze1888 Mills (+7 points).
Stocks that contributed negatively included TRG Pakistan (-119 points), Systems Limited (-68 points), Lucky Cement (-26 points), Fauji Fertiliser Company Limited (-25 points) and Unity Foods (-25 points).
JS Global analyst Neelum Naz said that the benchmark index took a battering as it closed with a loss of 648 points at 43,829.
“Amid a lack of major positive triggers in the market, investors are advised to stay cautious and build exposure across the board on major dips keeping the medium-term horizon in mind,” the analyst said.
Overall trading volumes increased to 226.6 million shares compared with Friday’s tally of 176.1 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs8.3 billion.
Shares of 548 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 61 stocks closed higher, 470 declined and 17 remained unchanged.
WorldCall Telecom was the volume leader with 41.4 million shares, losing Rs0.28 to close at Rs2.25. It was followed by Telecard Limited with 13.9 million shares, losing Rs1.4 to close at Rs17.27 and Treet Corporation with 9.4 million shares, losing Rs4.35 to close at Rs53.66.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs688.2 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan

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