Resilient PSX withstands terrorist attack; index gains 242 points

Despite an attack on PSX building earlier in the day, the index managed to accumulate decent gains to surpass the 34,000-mark

KARACHI: Indices of the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) showed incredible resilience on Monday, withstanding a terrorist attack on the PSX building earlier in the day, besides accumulating decent gains to cross the 34,000-mark.

During the early trading hours, four terrorists had launched an attack on the PSX, resulting in the martyrdom of four security guards, including a police constable. According to Sindh Rangers, all four terrorists had been killed. 

The Baloch Liberation Army had taken responsibility for the act of terrorism. 

The benchmark KSE-100 Index started the day on a negative note, losing 219.98 points to mark its intraday low at 33,719.51. The index, however, managed to recover losses following the attack and touched its intraday high at 34,207.00 (+267.51 points). It finally settled higher by 242.31 points at 34,181.80.

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Among other indices, the KMI-30 Index gained 383.07 points to close at 54,967.72, while the KSE All Share Index accumulated 256.61 points, ending at 24,510.83. Of the total traded shares, 169 advanced and 122 declined.

MARKET RESILIENCE – EXPLAINED BY ANALYSTS

“Trading did not stop for a minute and is still ongoing,” said PSX Managing Director Farrukh Khan while talking to a private media channel soon after the attack. “The PSX is an economic symbol…its security is important and should be strengthened.”

A general consensus among market analysts is that the index recovered due to the “quick response by law enforcement agencies at controlling the situation”. 

Naushad Chamdia, CEO of Standard Capital Securities, commented, “The index may have recovered in solidarity against the enemies of Pakistan. However, the market sentiments looked good because of the reduction in interest rate.”

Capital Stake Director Research Maha Jafer Butt noted, “Investors defied Monday’s foiled terrorist attack on the exchange. PSX had also remained resilient against such attacks in the past when the country was fighting the war against terror.”

She continued, “The market carried forward the momentum from Friday’s session, as the interim interest rate cut boosted investors’ interest. Furthermore, oil marketing companies led the market rally today thanks to the exorbitant surge in petroleum prices.”

Arsalan Soomro, Managing Director at Khadim Ali Shah Bukhari Securities, explained, “It was a follow-up rally after interest rate cuts and reduction in federal excise duty on cement. The valuations were quite good, regardless.”

Commenting on the foiled terrorist attack, he stated, “It was a targeted attack at the heart of the investors, both local and foreign. Given the nature of arms and ammunition with the terrorists, the security forces must be appreciated for foiling what could have been a major catastrophe.”

Speaking to Profit, Samiullah Tariq, Head of Research & Development at Pak Kuwait Investment Company, said, “The recovery could be attributed to the expectation of budget approval which is linked to the IMF review. This could also be due to lower FED on cement.”

In a tweet, Mohammad Sohail, CEO of Topline Securities wrote, “Failed attack at PSX. Trading is smooth and continuing. PSX benchmark index one of the Best Performers in Asia today so far. This is the resilience of Pakistan.”

“Historically speaking, after terrorist events, markets do plunge because of fear but with the swift actions of the security forces, the situation was brought under control which ended the uncertainty and allowed investor confidence to return,” Luqman Nadeem, Chief Investment Officer at FlatRock Associates, opined.

MARKET WATCH

The overall market volumes declined from 198.2 million shares in the previous session to 156.9 million shares (-23pc). Average traded value also declined by 18pc, from $40.3 million to $34 million. Pakistan Refinery Limited Right Shares (PRLR1 0.00pc), Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGC +2.42pc) and Hascol Petroleum Limited (HASCOL +4.75pc) led the volume chart, exchanging 18.45 million, 11.66 million and 11.35 million shares, respectively.

Sectors that rescued the benchmark index from the negative zone included oil & gas exploration (+74.43 points), cement (+37.22 points) and banking (+34.52 points). Among the companies, Pakistan State Oil (PSO 38.02 points), Lucky Cement Limited (LUCK +22.04 points) and Bank AlFalah Limited (BAFL +19.47 points) remained the top contributors.

The oil and marketing sector emerged as the biggest gainer of the session, adding 4.69pc to its total market capitalization.

PM CONDEMNS ATTACK

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has condemned the terrorist attack on the PSX. “The nation is proud of the LEAs for courageously taking on the terrorists and foiling their plans.”

In addition, the PM extended his condolences to the families of the martyrs and prayed for the recovery of the injured.

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