Stocks slip on President’s snub to National Assembly

The highest increase was recorded in Nestle Pakistan Limited, which rose by Rs200 to Rs7,780 per share

By Our Correspondent
February 28, 2024
A broker looks at an index board showing the latest share prices at the Pakistan Stock Exchange in Karachi. — AFP/File

Stocks ended slightly lower on Tuesday, as political uncertainty over the President's refusal to call a National Assembly session and doubts over new IMF loan conditions weighed on investor sentiment, analysts said.


The Pakistan Stock Exchange's (PSX) benchmark KSE 100-share Index closed down 0.14 percent, or 86.83 points, at 63,219.10, after touching a high of 63,622 and a low of 63,055.64 during the session. The KSE-30 index however, increased by 9.59 points or 0.05 percent to close at 21,305.82 points.

"Stocks closed under pressure amid uncertainty over the political outcome of the President's refusal to call National Assembly session," said Ahsan Mehanti, an analyst at Arif Habib Corp.

He added that uncertainty over IMF's new conditions over proposed new loans under SDRs, concerns over high inflation and the hike in gas prices for industrials played a catalytic role in the bearish close.

Traded shares decreased by 43 million shares to 409.962 million shares from 452.868 million shares. The trading value dropped to Rs14.675 billion from Rs16.491 billion. Market capital narrowed to Rs9.089 trillion against Rs9.131 trillion. Of 355 companies active in the session, 111 closed in green, 223 in red and 21 remained unchanged.

Analyst Naveed Nadeem at Topline Securities said the stock market index wrapped up the trading day at 63,219, recording a dip of 87 points. "Throughout the session, the index experienced a mixed pattern, hitting a high of 63,622 and a low of 63,055 levels, respectively."

The decline in the index was influenced by OGDC, SRVI, UBL, PPL, and PSO, collectively contributing to a reduction of 207 points. Conversely, TRG, MARI, and KAPCO added 113 points to the index, cumulatively.

The highest increase was recorded in Nestle Pakistan Limited, which rose by Rs200 to Rs7,780 per share, followed by Mari Petroleum Company Limited, which increased by Rs45.21 to Rs2,316.87 per share. A significant decline was noted in Rafhan Maize Products Company Limited, which fell by Rs339 to Rs8,400 per share, followed by Hoechst Pakistan Limited, which closed lower by Rs61.40 to Rs1,301 per share.

The benchmark index faces resistance at the 64,000 level, which it has failed to breach in the past two weeks, according to Arif Habib Ltd., a brokerage firm. The index has support at the 62,000 level, which could indicate the direction of the market in the near term.

The brokerage said the looking ahead, the inflation rate for Feb’24 is anticipated to be 23.5 percent, representing a decline month-on-month. However, it is projected that the average Consumer Price Index (CPI) for 7MFY24 will be approximately 28.1 percent year-on-year, compared to 26.2 percent in the same period last year.

"Although tech names continue to generate interest, broader market participation hinges on clearing the 64,000 points threshold. Near-term support is identified at 62,000 points, providing a gauge for market sentiment and potential price movements."

Bank of Punjab remained the volume leader with 47.571 million shares which closed higher by 2 paisas to Rs6.27 per share. K-Electric Ltd. followed it with 40.638 million shares, which closed higher by 8 paisas to Rs4.52 per share.

Other significant turnover stocks included WorldCall Telecom, Kohinoor Spining, Pak Int. Bulk, Fauji Foods Ltd, TRG Pak Ltd, Unity Foods Ltd, Air Link Commun and Soneri Bank Ltd.

In Future’s Market, 315 companies recorded trading, of which 132 increased, 172 decreased and 11 remained unchanged.