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KARACHI: Pakistan Stock Exchange on Tuesday nosedived due to heavy selling pressure following investor concern over rumors regarding further tax imposition in the aftermath of government dialogues for a new IMF programme.

The benchmark KSE-100 Index plunged by 953.60 points or 1.45 percent and closed below 65,000 psychological level at 64,801.70 points. The market opened in positive and the index hit 65,859.64 points intraday high, however dropped into negative zone due to selling pressure to hit 64,664.67 points intraday low.

Trading activity remained thin as daily volumes on ready counter decreased to 321.709 million shares as compared to 548.764 million shares traded on Monday. The daily traded value on the ready counter declined to Rs 10.857 billion against previous session’s Rs 16.605 billion.

BRIndex100 decreased by 114.1 points or 1.68 percent to close at 6,684.03 points with total daily turnover of 275.780 million shares.

BRIndex30 declined by 593.56 points or 2.57 percent to close at 22,541.70 points with daily trading volumes of 212.539 million shares.

Foreign investors however remained net buyers of shares worth $353,091. The market capitalization declined by Rs 132 billion to stand at Rs 9.228 trillion. Out of total 328 active scrips, 254 closed in negative and only 57 in positive while the value of 17 stocks remained unchanged.

Hascol Petroleum was the volume leader with 29.322 million shares however lost Rs 0.36 to close at Rs 8.14 followed by P.I.A.C. (A) that gained Rs 0.07 to close at Rs 18.10 with 28.898 million shares. Cnergyico PK closed at Rs 4.77, down Rs 0.34 with 25.500 million shares.

Shahmurad Sugar Mills and Pakistan Services Limited were the top gainers increasing by Rs 17.28 and Rs 12.35, respectively to close at Rs 390.28 and Rs 844.00 while Nestle Pakistan and Sazgar Engineering Works were the top losers declining by Rs 97.77 and Rs 31.71, respectively to close at Rs 7,480.00 and Rs 401.15.

An analyst at Topline Securities said that Pakistan equities kicked off the day on a positive note as the KSE-100 Index made an intraday high at 65,860 level (up 104 points or 0.16 percent) in the morning.

However, at the day’s high, profit-taking initiated and subsequently converted into an across the board selling spree. Resultantly, the benchmark index could not withstand 65,000 levels and called the day at 64,802 levels (lost 954 points; down 1.45 percent).

Aforesaid selling trend can be accredited to apprehensions associated with the forthcoming monetary policy announcement (scheduled on Monday, Mar 18) and the anticipation of likely further tax imposition in the aftermath of government’s dialogues for a new International Monetary Fund (IMF) program.

Fertilizer, E&P and Power sectors contributed negatively to the index as DAWH, OGDC, PPL, HUBC and ENGRO lost 341 points, cumulatively.

BR Automobile Assembler Index plunged by 404.61 points or 2.52 percent to close at 15,626.83 points with total turnover of 7.644 million shares.

BR Cement Index lost 105.95 points or 1.59 percent to close at 6,544.67 points with 7.644 million shares.

BR Commercial Banks Index inched down by 49.23 points or 0.3 percent to close at 16,465.14 points with 25.535 million shares.

BR Power Generation and Distribution Index decreased by 203.82 points or 1.4 percent to close at 14,365.93 points with 19.077 million shares.

BR Oil and Gas Index declined by 142.85 points or 2.28 percent to close at 6,114.57 points with 43.843 million shares.

BR Tech. & Comm. Index eroded 76.55 points or 2.01 percent to close at 3,730.90 points with 69.165 million shares.

Ahsan Mehanti at Arif Habib Corporation said stocks closed bearish on weak rupee and uncertainty over monetary policy announcement due on March 18 amid high inflation and the IMF review from March 14, 2024.

He said the FM commenting FY24 to be difficult financial year, concerns over surge in industrial gas tariff and uncertainty over outcome of Pak-IMF talks for new loans played a catalytic role in negative close.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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