PSX falls back as instability takes hold

KARACHI: The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) landed in the red again on Thursday, with the benchmark KSE-100 index losing 596 points, or 1.54 per cent, to close at 38,224 points. The index lost over 200 points within the first 15 minutes of trading and continued on a downward spiral to hit the day’s low of 38,127 points before market close. “Pakistan equities turned back south with benchmark KSE-100 Index plummeting to 38,127 level with noise on politics pretty much to blame for today’s decline,” a note from Elixir Securities said.

Volumes skidded further from Wednesday’s 118 million shares to 93 million shares worth Rs4.1 billion. Of the total 339 scrips traded, only 59 gained in value while 261 declined and 19 remained unchanged. The technology and communication sector dominated trading with 14m shares traded, while the power generation and cement sectors followed with 10.6m and 9.5m shares traded, respectively.

The downward rally continued at Pakistan Stock Exchange till midday and dropped huge 489 points to drop to 38330 level on Thursday.

Earlier, the stocks opened bearish after shedding 268 points to reach 38551 points level in early trading.

On Wednesday, the PSX  benchmark KSE 100-index remained positive in trading session and it made an intra-day high of 360 points to finally settle at 38,820 points, gaining 295 points.

Sui companies recovered as SNGP (up 4.4%) & SSGC (3.6%) gained on news that OGRA proposals are not indicative of future profits.

Top index point leaders were MCB (up 2.6%), EFERT (3.4%), ENGRO (1.6%), SNGP (4.4%) & DAWH (2.4%), adding 134 points to the index, while stocks including OGDC (down 1.2%), UBL (0.7%), HBL (0.4%), JDWS (5%) & ISL (1.9%) withheld 62 points from the index.

On the sector front, fertilizer added 93 points, commercial banks added 46 points, oil & gas marketing companies added 34 points, & cements 29 points. On the flip side, oil & gas exploration companies took away 29 points, sugar fell 8 points & engineering was down 6 points.

Market’s decline was affected by political uncertainty where deadlock in Senate over proposed bills has raised concerns over timely elections in 2018. Further, volatility in the Pakistani Rupee also raised sector specific confusion where after closing at Rs108.75 to the dollar the previous day, Pak Rupee slipped again yesterday to a high of Rs111.5 before settling at around Rs110.6/Rs111, said dealer at Topline Securities.

Top index point leaders were HUBC (up 3%), HBL (1.6%), ENGRO (2.1%), PSO (3.3%) & POL (1.7%), adding 160 points to the index, while stocks including DAWH (down 2.8%), DGKC (2.2%), LUCK (1%), INIL (4.6%) & FFC (1%) withheld 70 points from the index.

On the sector front, power generation and distribution added 76 points, commercial banks added 43 points, oil & gas exploration companies added 41 points. On the flip side, cement took away 37 points, insurance fell by 26 points and engineering was down 22 points.

Investors interest was witnessed in the banking space as mixed sentiments were seen where NBP (up 0.98%), MCB (0.34%) and HBL (1.61%) closed in the green zone, however UBL (down 0.45%) closed in the red trajectory, said analyst at JS Global. Traded volumes were up by 51% DoD to 195m shares while traded value was up by 43% to $78m. TRG was the volume leader for the day with more than 18m shares traded.