The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) benchmark KSE-100 Index closed slightly higher on Monday in a dull session, as investors opted to remain on the sidelines amid lack of fresh triggers.
The KSE-100 started negative, hitting an intra-day low of 45,662.70. However, a short-lived buying spree was observed in the second half.
At close, the benchmark index settled at 45,803.19, up by only 49.67 points or 0.11%.
“The equity market remained range-bound today [Monday] amid lack of triggers,” brokerage house Ismail Securities stated in its post-market report.
During the trading session, oil and gas exploration companies, commercial banks, technology and communication sectors remained the major contributors, the brokerage house said.
Last week, the KSE-100 declined by 0.47% as the index remained range-bound during due to lack of triggers and talks of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting.
In a surprise move, the MPC of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) kept the key policy rate unchanged at 22%.
The central bank’s decision was contrary to the market expectations as most analysts had predicted a hike up to 300 basis points.
“This decision takes into account the latest inflation outturn reflecting the continuing declining trend in inflation from its peak of 38% in May to 27.4% in August,” the SBP said in its statement.
It is pertinent to mention that the caretaker government has announced another massive hike in petrol and diesel prices, which took their rates to Rs331.38 and Rs329.18 per litre, respectively – a decision that may affect the inflation number for the next month.
The stock market didn’t react to the central bank’s decision to keep the policy rate unchanged.
Meanwhile, following a crackdown against the smugglers and hoarders, the Pakistani rupee strengthened for the ninth consecutive session against the US dollar, appreciating 0.3% in the inter-bank market on Monday.
As per the SBP, the rupee settled at 295.95 after an increase of Re0.9 in the inter-bank market.
However, the domestic currency remained unchanged against the dollar in the open market.
Volume on the all-share index decreased to 103.5 million from 222.53 million on Friday. The value of shares declined to Rs3.296 billion from Rs11.056 billion in the previous session.
Pak Refinery remained the volume leader with 7.869 million shares, followed by SEARLR2 with 7.346 million shares and Agritech Limited with 6.3 million shares.
Shares of 308 companies were traded on Monday, of which 133 registered an increase, 145 recorded a fall, and 30 remained unchanged.