Stocks plunge 786 points on political uncertainty

KARACHI: Failing to sustain early gains, the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) closed the first session of the week in red, with the benchmark KSE-100 Index plunging below the 45,000-mark intraday.

Global equity markets showed a mixed performance, whereas crude oil prices headed south from the previous close; WTI crude price declining 0.06pc to $66.06 while Brent crude oil price falling 0.07pc to $69.31 (as at 4:00pm PST).

“Political uncertainty emanating from the possible change in Punjab’s political setup perturbed investors today. Besides, the recent upsurge in inflation (primarily due to international crude oil prices) also caused investors to think twice about upcoming monetary policy and impact thereof on cyclicals. As a result, cement, steel and oil & gas marketing sectors saw major attrition,” a report issued by Arif Habib Ltd read.

MARKET SUMMARY

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The benchmark KSE-100 Index endured a highly volatile session on Monday, recording its intraday high at 46,432.39 (+595.04 points) and low at 44,849.07 (-988.28 points). It ended lower by 786.30 points at 45,051.05.

Among other indices, the KMI-30 Index plunged 1,503.59 points to close at 74,909.30, while the KSE All Share Index declined 437.11 points, settling at 30,964.91.

The overall market volumes appreciated from 317.23 million shares on Friday to 459.80 million shares (+45pc). Average traded value also increased by 55pc, from $101.5 million to $157.5 million. Azgard Nine Ltd (ANL +2.59pc), Unity Foods Ltd (UNITY +2.96pc) and TRG Pakistan Ltd (TRG -0.02pc) led the volume chart, exchanging 48.20 million, 45.36 million and 35.36 million shares, respectively.

Sectors that painted the benchmark index red included cement (-204.47 points), banking (-103.46 points) and power generation & distribution (-66.59 points). Among the companies, Lucky Cement Ltd (LUCK -84.48 points), Hub Power Company Ltd (HUBC -48.22 points) and Habib Bank Ltd (HBL -38.89 points) dented the index the most.

Shedding 3.75pc from its cumulative market capitalization, the cement sector ended as the session’s worst performer, with Lucky Cement Ltd (LUCK -3.26pc), DG Khan Cement Company Ltd (DGKC -5.30pc) and Bestway Cement Ltd (BWCL -4.34pc) posting significant losses.

Meanwhile, in a notification to the exchange, Hub Power Company Ltd (HUBC -2.50pc) announced that “HUBC and its wholly-owned subsidiary Hub Power Holdings Ltd together with ENI’s local employees (in a 50:50 joint venture) have executed definitive agreements to acquire all upstream operations of Eni & renewable energy assets owned by Eni in Pakistan”.

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