PSX sheds another 171 points as investors await economic clarity

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KARACHI: The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) continued with its downward trend on Friday, as indices kept shedding gains amid thin turnover. Putting an end to their six-day buying pattern, foreign investors closed the previous session as net sellers of $3.62 million.

On the economic front, foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank increased by 2.03pc on a weekly basis and stood at $8.98 billion. The reserves had previously fallen below the $7 billion mark.

According to media reports, Pakistan’s economic growth slowed down to 3.3pc (lowest in nine years), failing to meet its growth target of 6.2pc. Currency devaluation and slow rate of economic growth caused the size of the economy to drop from $313 billion (at the end of the previous government’s tenure) to around $280 billion.

Moreover, media sources have revealed that Pakistan has agreed to most of the pre-conditions laid down by the International Monetary Fund during their recent meetings. Experts believe that an official announcement during market hours could have galvanized market bulls and brought back value hunters as the 100 Index, which traded in a tight range after posting initial losses.

“News flow regarding an agreement with IMF over the weekend can bring back market bulls and lift the 100 Index, as we expect value hunters to rush in and initiate short squeezes,” they added.

Losing 240.67 points, the KSE 100 index touched its intraday low of 34,646.97. It ended lower by 171.11 points at 34,716.53. The KMI index closed at 54,401.17 after shedding 557.60 points, while the KSE All Share index fell short by 51.36 points, closing at 25,693.07. Out of total traded shares, 75 advanced, 174 declined while the value of 24 remained unchanged.

Market volumes declined further from 78.10 million in the preceding session to 39.29 million. K-Electric Limited (KEL +0.72pc), Maple Leaf Cement Factory Limited (MLCF -3.53pc) and The Searle Company Limited (SEARL -5.00pc) were the top traded stocks of the day. The scripts had exchanged 4.83 million shares, 2.71 million shares and 1.95 million shares respectively.

The oil and gas exploration sector lost -0.97pc from its cumulative market capitalization with Pakistan Oilfields Limited (POL -2.27pc), Mari Petroleum Company Limited (MARI -1.40pc), Pak Petroleum Limited (PPL -1.02pc) and Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDC -0.61pc) closing in the negative zone.

Similarly, the tobacco sector chipped off -2.07pc from its total market capitalization while Philip Morris Pakistan Limited (PMPK -5.00pc) touching its lower circuit breaker, while Pakistan Tobacco Company Limited (PAKT -1.09pc) and Khyber Tobacco Company Limited (KHTC -4.14pc) closing in the red.

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