Selling pressure was witnessed at the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) as the benchmark KSE-100 index lost 466 points during trading on Monday.

The KSE-100 started the session positive, hitting an intra-day high of 76,187.45. However, the index soon witnessed selling that pushed the index into the negative territory.

The bulls did bounce back for some time, but couldn’t sustain the selling pressure.

At close, the benchmark index settled at 75,517.49, down by 465.55 points or 0.61%.

Selling was witnessed in key sectors including cement, chemical, commercial banks, fertiliser, oil and gas exploration companies, OMCs, and power generation.

Index-heavy stocks including OGDC, PPL, PSO, SNGPL, and NBP were in the negative.

Experts said that the negativity comes amid uncertainty regarding government measures in the upcoming budget.

“As the government prepares to announce Budget FY25 on June 7th, 2024, it is strongly believed that fiscal discipline will take precedence over populist spending,” said Arif Habib Limited (AHL), in a report.

“The upcoming budget, likely to be in line with IMF demands, may lack ‘significant’ relief measures for the public. It is expected that the upcoming budget will centre on initiatives aimed at broadening the tax base, thereby almost meeting revenue targets,” it added.

Another brokerage house Topline Securities said investors opted to trim their stock positions near 76k level on Monday.

“A relatively lackluster momentum has been witnessed during business hours in the backdrop of budgetary concerns and mixed IMF vibes,” it said.

During the previous week, the PSX witnessed a positive trend and hit its highest-ever level on the back of healthy buying by both local and foreign investors coupled with institutional support.

The benchmark KSE-100 index surged by 640.69 points on week-on-week and closed at the highest ever level of 75,983.04 points.

Globally, Asian shares edged higher on Monday as investors braced for a busy week of data which culminates in a key US inflation report that could set the stage for a cut in interest rates there, albeit not for a few months yet.

Holidays in the United States and UK made for thin trading ahead of Friday’s figures on core personal consumption expenditures (PCE), the Federal Reserve’s preferred measure of inflation. Median forecasts are for a rise of 0.3% in April, keeping the annual pace at 2.8%, with risks on the downside.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 0.4%, having slipped 1.5% last week and away from a two-year peak.

Meanwhile, the Pakistani rupee reported a marginal decline against the US dollar, depreciating 0.03% in the inter-bank market on Monday. At close, the local unit settled at 278.3, a fall of Re0.09 against the greenback, as per the State Bank of Pakistan.

Volume on the all-share index decreased to 446.07 million from 609.85 million a session ago.

The value of shares declined to Rs16.40 billion from Rs23.58 billion in the previous session.

K-Electric Ltd was the volume leader with 55.6 million shares, followed by Symmetry Group Ltd with 40.66 million shares, and WorldCall Telecom with 29.46 million shares.

Shares of 406 companies were traded on Monday, of which 123 registered an increase, 231 recorded a fall, while 52 remained unchanged.

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