The Pakistan Stock Exchange’s (PSX) benchmark KSE-100 Index retreated after a positive start on Thursday, as profit-taking kicked in and pushed the index below 72,000.

The KSE-100 started the session positive, hitting an intra-day high of 72,593.25 on reports that the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) would meet on April 29 to discuss the approval of $1.1-billion funding for Pakistan.

However, profit-taking was witnessed in the final hours, especially in cement, chemical, and fertiliser sectors, which pushed the index into the negative territory.

At close, the benchmark index settled at 71,971.40, down by 80.49 points or 0.11%.

The session started with a mixed trend in different sectors, including automobile assemblers, cement, and refinery trading in the green, while negativity was seen in commercial banks, oil and gas exploration companies and OMCs.

Experts attributed the buying trend to an expected release of the $1.1 billion tranche from the IMF for Pakistan during the lender’s Executive Board meeting, which is scheduled on April 29.

The funding is the last tranche of a $3-billion Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) with the IMF, which runs out this month.

Pakistan is also seeking a new long-term, larger IMF loan. Islamabad has yet to make a formal request, but the Fund and the government are already in discussions. If secured, it would be the 24th IMF bailout for Pakistan.

On Wednesday, the PSX surpassed new heights as the benchmark KSE-100 Index crossed the 72,000 level for the first time in history to settle at 72,051.89, up by 692.49 points or 0.97%.

Globally, Asian stocks fell on Thursday as disappointing earnings forecasts from Facebook parent Meta Platforms hammered tech shares, while the yen’s slump past 155 per dollar for the first time since 1990 raised the spectre of intervention from Tokyo.

A 15% dive in shares of Meta in extended trading after the Instagram parent forecast lighter-than-expected current quarter revenue and higher expenses soured the mood, sparking a sell-off in U.S. tech and tech-related stocks.

The predictable hit to Asian tech stocks took MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan down 0.7%.

Meanwhile, the Pakistani rupee recorded a marginal decline against the US dollar, depreciating 0.03% in the inter-bank market on Thursday. At close, the local unit settled at 278.48, a loss of Re0.09 against the greenback, as per the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).

Volume on the all-share index increased to 798.52 million from 599.40 million a session ago.

The value of shares rose to Rs27.54 billion from Rs24.46 billion in the previous session.

K-Electric Ltd was the volume leader with 119.65 million shares, followed by WorldCall Telecom with 79.96 million shares, and Unity Foods Ltd with 44.27 million shares.

Shares of 389 companies were traded on Thursday, of which 173 registered an increase, 191 recorded a fall, while 25 remained unchanged.


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