Bloodbath at PSX as benchmark index plunges 911 points

Stocks continue losing streak for fourth day; KSE-100 falls below 43,000 level amid political uncertainty, fear of new taxes

KARACHI: The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) extended its fall for fourth day in a row, with the benchmark index losing 1,000 points intraday on selling pressure.

Global equity markets, on the other hand, showed a positive trend, whereas crude oil inched up from the previous close; WTI crude price appreciating 1.41pc to $65.35 while Brent crude price rising 1.40pc to $68.87 (as at 3:20pm PST).

“After starting the day on a positive note, the benchmark index succumbed to selling pressure later in the session, with several stocks hitting lower circuits. However, periodic buying contained losses to less than 1,000 points by the end of session,” a report issued by Arif Habib Ltd read. “Although the Federal Board of Revenue gave a clarification on the withdrawal of corporate tax exemptions, investors remained perturbed on anticipation of levy of additional taxes; leveraged investors closing their positions at market rates rather than meeting the margin requirements.”

MARKET SUMMARY

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Recording its intraday high at 43,891.00 (+199.32 points) earlier in the day, the benchmark KSE-100 Index nosedived to its low at 42,688.20 (-1,003.48 points) during the second half. It settled lower by 911.92 points at 42,779.76.

Among other indices, the KMI-30 Index plunged 1,605.08 points to end at 70,629.22, while the KSE All Share Index dropped 665.47 points, closing at 29,372.61.

The overall market volumes appreciated from 363.20 million shares in the previous session to 404.97 million shares (+12pc). Average traded value, on the contrary, declined 16pc, from $134.6 million to $112.8 million. Unity Foods Ltd (UNITY -7.46pc), TRG Pakistan Ltd (TRG -7.50pc) and Hum Network Ltd (HUMNL -6.34pc) led the volume chart, exchanging 34.89 million, 27.09 million and 21.43 million shares, respectively.

Sectors that drove the benchmark index south included banking (-144.77 points), oil & gas exploration (-104.23 points) and tech & communication (-100.82 points). Among the companies, TRG Pakistan Ltd (TRG -108.46 points), Oil and Gas Development Company ltd (OGDC -69.82 points) and Lucky Cement Ltd (LUCK -41.69 points) dented the index the most.

Shedding 6.33pc from its total market capitalisation, the refinery sector ended as the session’s worst performer, with Attock Refinery Ltd (ATRL -7.50pc), Pakistan Refinery Ltd (PRL -7.47pc) and National Refinery Ltd (NRL -6.57pc) ending in the negative.

Meanwhile, in a notification to the exchange, Lucky Cement Ltd (LUCK -1.65pc) informed that it has commenced its commercial operations with effect from March 10, 2021, at the Greenfield cement production facility in Samawah, Iraq. The said cement production facility is a joint venture with Iraq’s Al Shamookh Group.

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