The Pakistan Stock Exchange’s (PSX) benchmark KSE-100 closed a range-bound session on a positive note on Tuesday as late-session buying helped the index settle with a gain of 90 points.

During the first half of the session, selling pressure continued as the KSE-100 hit an intra-day low of 66,573.63.

However, some buying in the second half aided the index gain ground and close in the green.

At close, the benchmark index settled at 66,886.26, up by 89.94 points or 0.13%.

On Monday, the PSX underwent minor correction as investors opted for profit-taking following successive record highs last week.

In a key development, Pakistan’s trade deficit narrowed down by 24.94% in the first nine months (July-March) of the current fiscal year 2023-24 as it stood at $17.030 billion compared to $22.688 billion during the same period of last fiscal year, said the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics.

The country’s textile exports showed marginal growth in March, clocking in at $1.3 billion compared to $1.26 billion recorded in the same month of the previous year, a year-on-year increase of 3%, showed provisional data released by the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) on Tuesday.

However, the World Bank warned that Pakistan would continue to face liquidity issues in the medium term, due to trade deficit and limited access to external financing, unless authorities took “major and sustained economic reforms.”

The bank in its latest report, ‘Pakistan Development Update: Fiscal Impact of Federal State-Owned Enterprises’, released on Tuesday, expected Pakistan’s growth prospects to remain constrained over the medium term.

“In the absence of major and sustained economic reforms, Pakistan is expected to continue to face foreign exchange liquidity issues due to the persistent trade deficit and limited access to external financing, especially from the private sector,” the World Bank said.

Meanwhile, the Pakistani rupee recorded a marginal gain, appreciating 0.04% against the US dollar in the inter-bank market on Tuesday. At close, the local unit settled at 277.84, up by Re0.1 against the greenback, as per the State Bank of Pakistan.

Volume on the all-share index marginally increased to 239.65 million from 239.83 million a session ago.

The value of shares decline to Rs8.9 billion from Rs8.4 billion in the previous session.

WorldCall Telecom was the volume leader with 32.34 million shares, followed by P.T.C.L with 27.13 million shares, and Pak Reinsurance with 13.12 million shares.

Shares of 342 companies were traded on Tuesday, of which 160 registered an increase, 153 recorded a fall, while 29 remained unchanged.

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