Stocks inch down as companies buckle up for upcoming budget

Our Correspondent
May 27, 2023

Stocks closed slightly lower in a range-bound session on Friday, as investors weighed talks of new taxes in upcoming federal budget, falling forex reserves, and worsening IMF worries, traders...

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Stocks closed slightly lower in a range-bound session on Friday, as investors weighed talks of new taxes in upcoming federal budget, falling forex reserves, and worsening IMF worries, traders said.

The Pakistan Stock Exchange's (PSX) benchmark KSE 100-share Index closed lower by 65.14 points or 0.16 percent to 40,964.54 points against 41,029.68 points recorded in the last session. The highest index of the day remained at 41,148.56 points while the lowest level of the day was recorded at 40,783.80 points.

Ahsan Mehanti, an analyst at Arif Habib Corp, said, “Pressure remained at the PSX on falling FX reserves, rupee instability, and concerns over end to IMF programme.” Economic uncertainty amid surging circular debt, stuck IMF bailout programme and an uncertainty over federal budget FY24 announcements had played a catalyst role in the bearish close, he added.

However, mid-session support remained in the cement sector on likely Rs1 trillion PSDP allocation in the federal budget. KSE-30 index also decreased by 43.76 points or 0.30 percent to 14,531.93 points compared with 14,575.69 points recorded in the last session.

Traded shares rose by 43 million shares to 168.481 million shares from 125.344 million shares. The trading value increased to Rs6.767 billion from Rs4.059 billion. Market capital narrowed to Rs6.211 trillion from Rs6.214 trillion. Out of 329 companies active in the session, 120 closed in green, 179 in red and 30 remained unchanged.

Nabeel Haroon, an analyst at Topline Securities, said a range-bound session was observed where the market made an intraday high of 119 points and an intraday low of -65 points. A number of companies announced board meetings other than financial results; where it is expected that they will approve an increase in authorised capital for the purpose of bonus issue on expectations that some tax may be imposed on company reserves in the upcoming FY24 budget.

LUCK, ENGRO, MLCF, COLG and POL were among the major contributors, as they cumulatively added 163 points to the index. On the flip side, SYS, PPL, TRG, OGDC and PSO lost value to weigh down on the index by negative 146 points.

The highest increase was recorded in Bata (Pak) shares, which rose by Rs88.67 to Rs1,695 per share, followed by Siemens Pak., which increased by Rs47.44 to Rs679.95 per share. A significant decline was noted in Al-Abbas Sugar, which fell by Rs29.75 to Rs430 per share, followed by Indus Motor Co, which decreased by Rs16.09 to Rs921.92 per share.

Brokerage Arif Habib Ltd said the PSX opened with a lacklustre session, as investor participation remained low due to the country's ongoing political turmoil. “However, as the session began following the break, investor activity rose substantially as the bears dominated the KSE-100 index, losing 245.88 points in the intraday,” it reported.

During the final trading hour, investors chose to add value to their portfolios by cherry-picking stocks. Volumes climbed considerably from the previous close due to the end of the rollover week.

Sectors contributing to the performance included technology and communication (-73.4 points), E&P’s (-56.3 points), commercial banks (-41.7 points), OMCs (-31.4 points), and pharmaceuticals (-14.3 points).

WorldCall Telecom remained the volume leader with 10.337 million shares which closed flat at Rs1.10 per share. It was followed by Maple Leaf with 9.791 million shares, which closed higher by Rs1.35 to Rs27.84 per share.

Other significant turnover stocks included National Bank XD, K-Electric Ltd., TPL Properties, TRG Pak Ltd, Cnergyico PK, Unity Foods Ltd, Fauji Cement and Gul Ahmed. Shares’ turnover in the future contracts increased to 221.377 million shares from 183.688 million shares.

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