KARACHI: Failing to end the last session of the week positive, Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) was once again conquered by bears, as indices kept shedding gains all day long despite a slight improvement in the volumes.
The foreign exchange reserves held by central bank declined by 3.28pc on a weekly basis and now stand at $7.05 billion, according to the State Bank of Pakistan.
Moreover, remittances sent home by overseas Pakistanis were recorded at $1.69 billion (down by almost 2pc) in December 2018, as compared to $1.72 billion received in the same last year.
The trade deficit of Pakistan, which previously stood at $17.7 billion in July-December 2017, contracted by 5pc to $16.8 billion.
Among other developments that impacted the market, Moody’s Investors Service said that Pakistan would have to repay foreign debt amounting to 160pc of its foreign currency reserves in 2019.
The KSE 100 index benchmark declined by 310.10 points to touch its intraday low. The index settled lower by 41.20 points to end the session at 39,049.08. The KMI 30 index depreciated by 240.82 points and ended at 65,911.25. On the other hand, KSE All Share index fell short by 89.58 points, closing at 28,738.96. Out of total traded scripts, only 130 advanced while 161 declined.
Trading volumes improved slightly from 112.05 million in the previous session to 123.58 million. K-Electric Limited (KEL +1.61pc), Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGC -4.92pc) and TRG Pakistan Limited (TRG -1.94pc) were the top traded stocks of the day. The scripts had traded 13.92 million, 8.52 million and 8.03 million shares respectively.
The auto sales recorded a growth of 11pc on a month-on-month basis in December 2018 for the first time in the last 12 years, according to Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (PAMA). On yearly basis, car sales increased by 1pc to 19,423 units.
The oil and gas exploration sector lost 0.20pc from its cumulative market capitalization following the decline in global oil prices. Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDC -0.32pc), Pak Petroleum Limited (PPL -0.04pc) and Mari Petroleum Company Limited (MARI -0.61pc) all ended slightly negative.