A range-bound session was observed at the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) on Friday as the falling Pakistani rupee and a bleak economic outlook weighed heavily on investors’ sentiment.

Despite the start of trading on a positive note, when the KSE-100 index reached an intra-day high of 47,853.55 points, in line with previous day’s favourable session, stocks began coming down quickly.

The decline stemmed from factors such as declining exports, skyrocketing inflation, weakening rupee and rising power tariffs.

Some mid-session support came in anticipation of an increase in Pakistan’s weight to 2.93% in the MSCI FM100 index in the upcoming month.

However, it was not sufficient to push the index upwards as it soon dipped to an intra-day low of 47,570.31 points. The bourse eventually settled near that level with some losses.

“Stocks closed lower amid investor concerns over the weak rupee and a dismal economic outlook,” said Arif Habib Commodities CEO Ahsan Mehanti, adding that mid-session support came from expectations of MSCI raising Pakistan’s weight in its FM100 Index.

“Falling exports, inflation worries amid the surging power tariff and weakening rupee played the role of catalysts in bearish close of the market.”

At close, the benchmark KSE-100 index registered a decrease of 79.55 points, or 0.17%, and settled at 47,671.22.

Topline Securities commented that a range-bound session was observed at the stock exchange as the KSE-100 index traded between an intra-day high of 103 points and an intra-day low of -181 points. It finally settled at 47,671.

“Major positive contribution of 89 points to the index came from Habib Metropolitan Bank, Engro Corporation, Meezan Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and Fauji Fertiliser Company,” it said.

On the flip side, Oil and Gas Development Company, TRG Pakistan, Pakistan Petroleum, Bank AL Habib and Unilever Pakistan Foods lost value, weighing down the index by 89 points, Topline added.

Arif Habib Limited (AHL) in its report said the market saw the third consecutive week-on-week decline (-1.14%) since hitting 49k.

“The KSE-100’s support remains at 46-47k and it is from here we are anticipating a bullish reversal,” it said, adding that Friday saw a lacklustre session.

Habib Metropolitan Bank (+7.49%) and Standard Chartered Bank (+7.5%) gained ground while Oil and Gas Development Company (-1.51%), TRG Pakistan (-2.52%) and Pakistan Petroleum (-1.01%) came down.

JS Globalanalyst Muhammed Waqar Iqbal commented that the KSE-100 experienced a volatile session and closed at 47,671, down 80 points day-on-day.

“Going forward, we recommend investors to avail any downside as an opportunity to buy stocks in construction and export-oriented sectors,” the analyst added.

Overall trading volumes decreased to 192.04 million shares compared with Thursday’s tally of 251.7 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs6.5 billion.

Shares of 329 companies were traded. At close, 100 stocks closed higher, 204 declined and 25 remained unchanged.

WorldCall Telecom was the volume leader with trading in 17.97 million shares, gaining Rs0.01 to close at Rs1.25. It was followed by JS Bank with 16.1 million shares, gaining Rs0.21 to close at Rs6.20 and BankIslami Pakistan with 12.5 million shares, losing Rs0.57 to close at Rs14.85.

Foreign investors were net sellers of Rs25.7 million worth of shares, according to the NCCPL.

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