Bears completely sidelined the bulls at the Pakistan Stock Exchange on Monday, as the benchmark KSE-100 index nosedived 819 points, starting the week on a negative note.

Showing their complete dominance, the bears held their grip over the market throughout the day, as jittery investors were seen offloading their holdings in panic.

The prevailing economic and political crisis in the country kept the market environment tense, as across-the-board profit-selling was witnessed during the session.

Depleting foreign exchange reserves, continuously falling rupee against the US dollar besides delay in meeting the International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s conditions for the revival of loan programme haunted the domestic bourse, keeping the bulls at bay.

Earlier, the session commenced with a steep fall, as the KSE-100 index nosedived to an intra-day low of 42,375 points during the initial hour of trading.

Moving forward, the index hovered around that level, as market participants failed to find any positive triggers throughout the day, and it settled above the psychological barrier of 42,000 points.

At close, the benchmark KSE-100 index recorded a decrease of 819.14 points, or 1.88%, to settle at 42,667.32 points.

Topline Securities, in its report, said that Pakistan equities closed negative, where the KSE-100 index settled at 42,667 points, down 1.88% day-on-day.

Investors were confused over the political and economic conditions as they were expecting petroleum prices to go up, owing to the rise in international crude oil prices, coupled with the revival of IMF programme, Topline said.

“This led the market to open on a negative note and hit an intra-day low of 1,111 points,” it added.

Major decliners were Systems Limited, Lucky Cement, Meezan Bank, Pakistan Petroleum Limited and Oil and Gas Development Company.

A report of Arif Habib Limited stated that the benchmark KSE-100 index experienced “a bloodbath session” on Monday.

Selling spree continued across the board, which pulled the market deep into the red, as prevailing political uncertainty and Pakistani rupee depreciation against the US dollar dented the confidence of investors, which translated into panic selling, the report said.

“Main board activity remained dull whereas hefty volumes were witnessed in third-tier stocks.”

Sectors contributing to the performance included banks (-171.9 points), cement (-125.1 points), exploration and production (-110.1 points) and technology (-108.1 points).

JS Global analyst Mohammad Waqar Iqbal said that selling pressure continued across the board for the entire day in the stock market.

The market, however, sustained the psychological support level of 42,000 and closed at 42,667, down 819 points compared to the previous trading session.

Lotte Chemical Pakistan Limited, Pakistan Refinery Limited, Cnergyico PK, Telecard Limited and WorldCall Telecom were the volume leaders, he said.

“Going forward, we recommend investors to adopt a cautious approach,” the analyst added.

Overall trading volumes increased to 250.4 million shares compared with Friday’s tally of 208.1 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs8.9 billion.

Shares of 340 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 63 stocks closed higher, 263 declined and 14 remained unchanged.

Lotte Chemical was the volume leader with 18.1 million shares, gaining Rs1.16 to close at Rs27. It was followed by Pakistan Refinery Limited with 18.1 million shares, losing Rs0.57 to close at Rs14.84 and Cnergyico PK with 14.2 million shares, losing Rs0.31 to close at Rs5.18.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs328.7 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.

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