Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) on Tuesday experienced a downturn, following a highly bullish session a day ago, primarily owing to dismal data revealing that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) surged to 29.7% year-on-year (YoY) in December 2023.

In the morning, the trading session began on a robust note, touching intra-day high at 65,333.69 points while building the momentum on the previous gains. However, very soon, the market saw a rapid decline influenced by a number of factors.

These included a slump in global equities, pre-poll uncertainty and apprehensions about the losses incurred by state-owned enterprises (SOEs).

The index experienced rapid fluctuations throughout the day, ultimately declining to the intra-day low at 64,213.62 points. It was unable to maintain the 65,000 mark and closed near the day’s low with modest losses.

“Stocks closed lower amid dismal data on CPI inflation that surged 29.7% YoY in December 2023,” said Arif Habib Corp MD Ahsan Mehanti.

“Slump in global equities, pre-poll uncertainty and investor concerns over whopping losses of the ailing SOEs played the role of catalysts in bearish close of the market.”

At close, the benchmark KSE-100 index recorded a decrease of 312.18 points, or 0.48%, and settled at 64,349.60.

Topline Securities, in its report, stated “Pakistan equities’ market concluded at 64,349, reflecting a decline of 312 points”.

“Throughout the trading day, the index demonstrated volatility within a range of 1,120 points, reaching intra-day high of 65,333.70 (+671.92) and low of 64,213.63 (-448.16) points,” it said.

Adverse movements were observed in Hub Power, Mari Petroleum, Systems Limited, Engro Corporation and Lucky Cement, which collectively incurred a loss of 176 points.

Read PSX gets off to flying start in 2024

Conversely, Pakistan Petroleum, Oil and Gas Development Company and Meezan Bank contributed gains of 112 points, Topline added.

Arif Habib Limited (AHL), in its review, wrote that the PSX saw “consolidation following Monday’s surge and an early session test of 65,000.”

“Advancers-to-decliners ratio stood at 69:27 with Hub Power (-1.27%) contributing the most to the decline while Pakistan Tobacco Company (-5.17%) had the largest drop,” AHL said, adding that Pakistan Petroleum (+1.9%) provided the biggest boost to the index and Unity Foods (+7.16%) recorded the largest rise.

JS Global analyst Muhammad Shuja Qureshi said after posting intra-day high of 672 points, the KSE-100 index saw profit-taking and closed at 64,350, losing 312 points day-on-day.

“The market is expected to find support at 64,000 and investors are advised to accumulate exploration and production (E&P) and banking-sector stocks,” the analyst added.

Overall trading volumes increased to 671.7 million shares against Monday’s tally of 625.1 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs24.5 billion.

Shares of 378 companies were traded. Of these, 105 stocks closed higher, 252 dropped and 21 remained unchanged.

K-Electric was the volume leader with trading in 79.9 million shares, losing Rs0.14 to close at Rs5.30. It was followed by WorldCall Telecom with 46.5 million shares, losing Rs0.04 to close at Rs1.53 and The Bank of Punjab with 34.95 million shares, losing Rs0.06 to close at Rs6.88.

Foreign investors were net sellers of shares worth Rs193.6 million, according to the NCCPL.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 3rd, 2024.

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