Bloodbath continues at PSX; index plunges 1,336 points

KARACHI: Investors of the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) witnessed another turbulent session on Wednesday, with the KSE-100 Index nosediving to its six-year low intraday, causing a market halt for the 8th time this month.

According to market analysts, despite the State Bank of Pakistan announcing a 150 basis points cut in interest rates and the government giving petroleum relief to the masses, nothing could trigger positivity at the PSX on Wednesday.

“The market had opened on a positive note with a 100-point gain and 4.35 million shares [volume]. This was primarily due to the relief package announced by the prime minister last evening. The eventual decline in the index could be attributed to the government’s indecision on the fate of market-related relaxation, which the industry looked forward to, on account of capital gains tax (CGT) or similar such relief,” said an analyst at Arif Habib Ltd.

Shedding 1,395.69 points, the benchmark KSE-100 Index fell to its intraday low at 27,169.14 (a level last seen in 2014). Failing to find any positive triggers, the index closed lower by 1,336.03 points at 27,228.80. I may be noted that the index has lost 28pc in its value so far this year (-11,000 points this month). 

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Among other indices, the KMI-30 Index plunged 2,533.03 points to end at 41,370.78, while the KSE All Share Index lost 763.38 points, settling at 20,131.87. Out of the total traded shares, 76 advanced and 176 declined.

The overall trading volumes increased from 98.75 million in the last session to 144.88 million, with Maple Leaf Cement Factory Limited (MLCF -7.43pc), K-Electric Limited (KEL +4.91pc) and Unity Foods Limited (UNITY +0.86pc) topping the volume chart. The scripts  had exchanged 14.45 million, 11.62 million and 7.94 million shares, respectively.

Sectors that painted the KSE-100 Index red included banking (-430.09 points), cement (-148.68 points) and oil & gas exploration (-132.37 points). Among the companies, Engro Corporation Limited (ENGRO -130.73 points), Habib Bank Limited (HBL -129.42 points) and Hub Power Company Limited (HUBC -99.85 points) damaged the index the most.

The oil & gas marketing sector turned out to be the top loser of the day, losing 6.81pc in its cumulative market capitalization. Pakistan State Oil Company Limited (PSO -7.39pc), Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGP -6.95pc), Hascol Petroleum Limited (HASCOL -7.58pc) and Shell Pakistan Limited (SHEL -5.92pc) closed in the red.

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