KARACHI: Investors at the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) witnessed another volatile session on Wednesday, as the indices oscillated in both directions before closing flat.
“The market opened on a positive note primarily in reaction to the partial opening of various industries and sectors by the federal and provincial governments,” said an analyst at Arif Habib Limited. “However, as WTI Crude Oil price dropped over 4.5pc to 18-year low at $19.20 per barrel, exploration & production and oil & gas marketing companies crumbled from levels maintained earlier in the day.”
Among other developments that dented investors’ confidence, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicted that Pakistan’s real GDP will fall to 1.5pc in 2020 before recovering to 2pc next year. The Fund projected consumer price inflation to remain at 11.1pc in 2020, while unemployment rate is expected to rise to 5.10pc.
The global economy is also projected to contract sharply by 3pc in the current year due to COVID-19.
Meanwhile, the State Bank of Pakistan (PSX) has also revised down its projection for economic growth by half a percentage point to 3pc for the current year after infection cases started rising slowly in the second half of March.
The benchmark KSE-100 Index recorded its intraday high at 31,795.18 after gaining 572.44 points. However, failing to hold sustain gains, the index slipped to its intraday low at 31,181.76 (-40.98 points). It finally closed flat (+19.45 points) at 31,242.19.
Among other indices, the KMI-30 Index gained 65.54 points to settle at 49,187.04, while the KSE All Share Index ended lower by 10.59 points at 22,188.27. Of the total traded shares, 187 advanced and 120 declined.
The overall trading volumes improved from 130.19 million in the last session to 185.45 million, with Maple Leaf Cement Factory Limited (MLCF +0.13pc), Hascol Petroleum Limited (HASCOL -2.03pc) and Fauji Cement Company Limited (FCCL +2.19pc) topping the volume chart. The scrips had exchanged 22.51 million, 10.92 million and 9.56 million shares, respectively.
In a notification to the exchange, Sazgar Engineering Works Limited (SAZEW -2.82pc) informed that it has partially resumed it’s the manufacturing of ‘tractor wheel rims’ following the government’s announcement of exemption from lockdown.