- Political noise and a rise in the benchmark interest rate has impacted investor sentiment
The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) remained in the grip of selling pressure on Tuesday as the KSE-100 index slid 489.93 points in a tumultuous session. Political turmoil around a long march planned by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) for May 25 has instilled panic in investors' mind, motivating them to sell off their holdings.
The market also reacted negatively to the steep hike of 150 basis points in the benchmark interest rate by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), which took it to an 11-year high of 13.75% on Monday.
At close on Tuesday, the KSE-100 fell 1.15% to finish at 41,950.32, the lowest level since December 1, 2020, when it finished at 41,665.27.
Following a brief dip at the start of the session, the KSE-100 index staged a modest recovery and hit an intra-day high of 197.29 points. After this it lost steam and the stock market fell steadily throughout the day. The market turned range-bound in the final hours and ended the session on a negative note.
The political environment is flaring up, with PTI announcing a protest march to the capital while the government has said it will not allow this to happen.
A report from Capital Stake said bears took charge of the PSX on Tuesday. Indices slipped lower and lower for the most part of the day.
As per analysts, political noise, a rise in the benchmark interest rate to keep inflation expectations anchored and contain risks to external stability, and the upcoming long march all acted as negative triggers for investors.
Sector driving the benchmark index downwards included banking (114.76 points), technology and communication (80.20 points) and cement (77.79 points).
Volume on the all-share index surged to 169.7 million from 118.99 million a day prior. The value of shares traded contracted to Rs5.46 billion from Rs3.58 billion recorded in the previous session.
Pakistan Refinery was the volume leader with 15.74 million shares, followed by Silkbank with 14.67 million shares, and TPL Properties with 10.6 million shares.
Shares of 318 companies were traded on Tuesday, of which 94 registered an increase, 208 recorded a fall, and 16 remained unchanged.