Stocks close 1.4pc down on Peshawar blast

By Our Correspondent
January 31, 2023

KARACHI: Stocks closed lower on Monday amid concerns for inflation and uncertainty over law and order situation after the Peshawar bomb blast, traders said.

Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) benchmark KSE 100-share Index closed lower by 579.26 points or 1.43 percent to stand at 39,871.27 points against 40,450.53 points recorded in the last session. Intraday high was 40,667.43 points, while intraday low was 39,842.85 points.

Analyst Ahsan Mehanti at Arif Habib Corp said, “Stocks fell across the board on uncertainty ahead of Pak-IMF 9th review talks on taxes, power pricing and SBP policy amid higher inflation, and fiscal imbalances.”

Rupee instability and uncertainty over the outcome of Pak-IMF talks amid political noise played a catalytic role in the bearish close, he added.

KSE-30 index also decreased by 212.21 points or 1.40 percent to 14,897.72 points compared with 15,109.93 points recorded in the last session.

Volumes dropped by 53 million shares to 140.465 million shares from 191.327 million shares, whereas value decreased to Rs5.458 billion from Rs7.119 billion. Market capital narrowed to Rs6.293 trillion from Rs6.351 trillion. Out of 314 companies active in the session, 80 closed in green, 210 in red and 24 remained unchanged.

Analyst Ali Najib at Topline Securities said it was a volatile day for Pakistan equities. The index opened in the green zone, but the selling spree started across the board, which pushed the index toward an intraday low at 39,844 (-606 points; down 1.50 percent) before eventually settling at 39,871 (-579 points; down 1.43 percent) for the day.

Initially, he said, investors’ sentiment was positive as another IMF pre-requisite action was taken by the government over the weekend with the increase in prices of petroleum products. However, the blast in Peshawar dented aforesaid momentum by increasing concerns over the law and order situation in the country.

The highest increase was recorded in the hares of Rafhan Maize, up Rs614 to close at Rs8,999/ share, followed by Premium Tex., up Rs35 to close at Rs595.95/share. A significant decline was noted in the shares of Pak Services, down Rs165.50 to Rs2,110/share, followed by Nestle Pakistan, down Rs120 to Rs5,160/share.

Brokerage Arif Habib Ltd said the index opened in the green zone, but the expectation of higher inflation in the coming months as well as prevailing economic instability and news of a blast in Peshawar plunged the index down to an intraday low of 606.14 points and concluded in the red zone.

It reported that the investors’ participation remained low and closed in the red zone at the end of the trading day. Volumes, on the other hand, remained healthy across the board.

Sectors contributing to the performance included commercial banks (-141.6 points), miscellaneous (-84.7 points), fertiliser (-82.5 points), technology and communication (-72.4 points), and cement (-67.3 points).

Pak Refinery remained the volume leader with 21.142 million shares with an increase of 5 paisas to Rs13.66/share. It was followed by Cnergyico PK with 11.806 million shares that closed lower by one paisa to Rs3.88/share.

Other stocks that recorded significant turnover included Engro Polymer, Pak Petroleum, Oil & Gas De., WorldCall Telecom, Hub Power Co., TPL Properties, Pakistan Alumin, and Maple Leaf.

Shares’ turnover in the future contracts decreased to 51.121 million shares from 175.320 million shares.