Stocks plunge 517 points in pre-budget session

KARACHI: Bears took control of the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) on Friday, as the investors adopted a cautious approach ahead of the budget announcement.

“Investors’ sentiment remained dampened throughout the pre-budget session, mainly on the back of the global rout in capital and commodity markets; US and regional markets tumbling by up to 7pc while similar attrition was observed in international crude oil prices,” said a report issued by Arif Habib Ltd.

In addition, yesterday’s release of the government’s Economic Survey 2019-20 was also not received well by the investors. According to the latest figures, Pakistan’s GDP growth rate has declined to -0.40pc in FY20, as against the target of +4.4pc.

The KSE-100 Index started the proceedings on a negative note, registering its intraday low at 34,503.94 after losing 624.64 points. It settled lower by 517.35 points at 34,611.23.

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Among other indices, the KMI-30 Index plunged 890.68 points or -1.59pc to end at 55,130.43, while the KSE All Share Index dropped 307.24 points, closing at 24,703.29. Of the total traded scrips, 77 advanced and 202 declined.

The overall market volumes contracted from 269.30 million shares in the previous session to 177.76 million shares (-34pc). Average traded value also declined by 27pc, from $52.6 million to reach $38.4 million. Azgard Nine Limited (ANL +7.09pc), Maple Leaf Cement Factory Limited (MLCF -0.79pc) and Unity Foods Limited (UNITY -2.46pc) led the volume chart, exchanging 12.69 million, 11.35 million and 10.80 million shares, respectively.

Sectors that drove the KSE-100 Index south included banking (-180.24 points), oil & gas exploration (-122.28 points) and power generation & distribution (-35.31 points). Among the companies, Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDC -49.82 points), Habib Bank Limited (HBL -47.01 points) and MCB Bank Limited (MCB -44.68 points) dented the index the most.

The refinery sector lost 4.09pc in its total market capitalization, with Byco Petroleum Pakistan Limited (BYCO -4.72pc), Attock Refinery Limited (ATRL -3.49pc), National Refinery Limited (NRL -2.85pc) and Pakistan Refinery Limited (PRL -2.59pc) closing in the red.

Meanwhile, PSX has revised the designated time schedule of the exchange. Timings from Monday will be from 9:45 am to 3:30 pm (till Thursday) and 9:45 am to 1:00 pm (on Friday).


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Ariba Shahid
The author is a business journalist at Profit. She can be reached at [email protected] or at
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