- Market reacts to development on IMF front in mixed manner
The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) endured a volatile session on Wednesday as the KSE-100 index climbed in the morning but dipped in the final hours of the day to close 0.16% down.
By the end of the day, the index settled at 42,458.14, a loss of 67.81 points.
Investors cherry-picked stocks in early hours as they believed the International Monetary Fund (IMF) would revive the $6 billion bailout programme. However, optimism faded as it became clear that the global lender had laid down a set of conditions it wants fulfilled before it revives its programme.
The KSE-100 index spiked as soon as trading began and inched close to the 43,000 point mark.
The index remained range-bound from noon till the final hours as investors reacted to IMF’s development with mixed sentiments. The last hour saw market participants offloading scrips as investor sentiment took a hit and they resorted to book profits, which dragged the market lower.
On Tuesday night, Pakistan and the IMF made progress on the budget measures for 2022-23, with additional policy actions committed by Islamabad to revive the stalled Extended Fund Facility (EFF) including generating Rs436 billion more taxes and increasing petroleum levy from July 1.
"Discussions between the IMF staff and the authorities on policies to strengthen macroeconomic stability in the coming year continue," IMF Resident Representative in Pakistan Esther Perez Ruiz told Business Recorder.
"Important progress has been made over the FY23 budget."
The development is short of a staff-level agreement, and remains contingent on Pakistan meeting additional policy actions to "strengthen macroeconomic stability".
A report from Capital Stake said indices swayed both ways in search of a direction while volumes fell from last close. As per analysts, investors preferred to stay on the sidelines despite news of progress in talks with IMF, it said.
A report from Topline Securities noted that the day kicked off on a positive note, hitting an intra-day high of 354 points over revival of the IMF EFF and lower international oil prices.
“However, the positivity did not sustain at the bourse as investors varied over inflationary pressure and Rs436 billion additional taxes in federal budget 2022-23,” it said.
On the economic front, the rupee lost Rs0.45 or 0.21% against the US dollar to close at Rs211.93.
Sectors dragging the benchmark KSE-100 index lower included cement (39.65 points), technology and communication (28.22 points) and oil and gas exploration (21.44 points).
Volume on the all-share index dropped to 266.1 million from 300.6 million on Tuesday. The value of shares traded also decreased to Rs8.47 billion from Rs9.47 billion recorded in the previous session.
Pak Refinery was the volume leader with 23.87 million shares, followed by TPL Properties with 23.15 million shares, and Cnergyico PK with 16.79 million shares.
Shares of 336 companies were traded on Wednesday, of which 133 registered an increase, 176 recorded a fall, and 27 remained unchanged.