- Benchmark index ends 3.23% lower, its biggest single-day drop in terms of percentage in 2022
Uncertainty over inflows from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), rising domestic political noise, and a bearish run in regional stock markets combined to take a a toll on investor-sentiment as the benchmark KSE-100 Index suffered its biggest fall – in terms of percentage – of 2022 after a 3.23% decrease on Monday.
At close, the benchmark index settled at 43,393.14, a decrease of 1,447.67 or 3.23% and its fifth-successive finish in the red. This is the biggest single-day drop for the KSE-100 since December 2, 2021 when the market plummeted 4.71%.
Stocks across the board witnessed selling pressure with the benchmark index hitting a low of 43,315, a fall of 1,525 points or 3.4%, in intra-day trading. Index-heavy cement, banks, autos as well as oil stocks took a hit.
Last week, the stock market witnessed only one trading session on Friday as the market remained closed from Monday to Thursday on account of Eid-ul-Fitr. However, during this single session, the stock market remained in the grip of a bearish trend as well.
The selling wave continued on Monday on investor concerns over PKR depreciation, rumours of policy rate hike in the upcoming monetary policy and political unrest in the country have kept the market under pressure.
"Negative sentiment continued to persist as oil prices increased in the international market, whereas the government remains hesitant in revising the domestic rates, which has increased the price differential claim (PDC) on government subsidies,” Abdullah Umer, analyst at Ismail Iqbal Securities Limited, told Business Recorder.
"In addition, rising political noise after former prime minister Imran Khan announced a long march towards Islamabad after May 20 is playing on the minds of investors,” he said.
Umer added that the rupee has remained under pressure as well after the US Fed Reserve raised its interest rate.
Last week, the Federal Reserve raised short-term interest rates by 0.50%, the biggest jump since 2000 as part of an effort to tame down inflationary pressure.
Meanwhile, delays in the IMF programme, and a lack of good news from Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif's visit to Saudi Arabia have also sent jitters down the market, added Umer.
Taking to Twitter, CEO Topline Securities Mohammed Sohail shared similar views, saying delay in the IMF programme and a lack of clarity on the new government's economic plan affected the stock market.
On the corporate front, Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDC) announced in a notice to the PSX that the Directorate General of Petroleum Concessions has communicated provisional award of new exploration block to OGDC and Pakistan Oilfields Limited (POL).
Meanwhile, sectors pulling the benchmark index downwards included banking (305.05 points), cement (237.04 points) and technology and communication (183.19 points).
Volume on the all-share index increased to 305.21 million, from 189.48 million on Friday. The value of shares traded also improved significantly to Rs9.24 billion from Rs5.66 billion recorded in the previous session.
Lotte Chemical was the volume leader with 27.01 million shares, followed by Cnergyico PK with 23.86 million shares, and WorldCall Telecom with 20.98 million shares.
Shares of 363 companies were traded on Monday, of which 38 registered an increase, 311 recorded a fall, and 14 remained unchanged.