Bearish sentiment prevailed at the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) on Wednesday, as the benchmark KSE-100 index fell below 75,000 during trading on Wednesday.

The KSE-100 started the session positive but soon the bears took control of the market and kept the index largely into the negative territory.

At close, the benchmark index settled at 74,836.30, down by 681.19 points or 0.90%.

Across-the-board selling pressure was witnessed among key sectors including automobile assemblers, cement, chemical, commercial banks, oil and gas exploration companies, OMCs, and refinery.

Index-heavy stocks including OGDC, PPL, SNGPL, HBL, NBP were in the red.

Experts attributed the selling pressure to the government’s anticipated measures in the upcoming fiscal year 2024-25 budget. The government aims to achieve fiscal discipline and enhance its tax revenues.

As per reports, major changes are expected in tax laws through the Finance Bill 2024 to increase the cost of financial transactions of the non-filers of income tax returns and introduce enforcement measures of Rs 300-400 billion in 2024-25.

The Finance Bill 2024 would also enhance the powers of the Directorate General of Digital Invoicing, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to document the supply chains of all major businesses.

On Monday, selling pressure was also witnessed at the bourse as the benchmark KSE-100 index lost 466 points during trading to settle at 75,517.49.

It is pertinent to mention that the stock market was closed on Tuesday on account of a public holiday announced by the federal government.

Globally, China stocks edged up on Wednesday, as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) upgraded its economic growth forecasts for the Asian giant.

China’s economy is set to grow 5% this year, after a “strong” first quarter, the IMF said on Wednesday, raising its earlier forecast of 4.6% expansion.

Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 1.20% while Japan’s Nikkei index was down 0.43%.

Meanwhile, the Pakistani rupee reported a marginal decline against the US dollar, depreciating 0.04% in the inter-bank market on Wednesday. At close, the local unit settled at 278.40, a fall of Re0.10 against the greenback, as per the State Bank of Pakistan.

Volume on the all-share index decreased to 408.07 million from 446.07 million a session ago.

The value of shares rose to Rs16.5 billion from Rs16.4 billion in the previous session.

K-Electric Ltd was the volume leader with 38.65 million shares, followed by WorldCall Telecom with 22.38 million shares, and Dewan Motors with 19.35 million shares.

Shares of 405 companies were traded on Wednesday, of which 85 registered an increase, 277 recorded a fall, while 43 remained unchanged.

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