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June 27, 2019

Index ends flat on currency depreciation, gas tariff hike

Business

June 27, 2019

The capital market ended flat on Wednesday following a volatile trading session, as a fresh wave of currency depreciation hinting at weaknesses on the economic front and increase in gas tariff weighed on investor sentiments, dealers said.

Madiha Javed, head of research at Ismail Iqbal Securities, said, “The benchmark KSE-100 index experienced volatility throughout the session making an intra-day low of 33,731.94 points.”

Rupee continued to weaken drastically against the greenback closing at 162.17/USD. The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) also approved gas tariff increase effective from start of July with household gas prices increasing by up to 190 percent.

On the positive side, MSCI conducted its Annual Market Classification Review where Pakistan’s emerging market status remains intact until the next review, she added.

Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) benchmark KSE-100 shares index lost 0.30 percent or 102.06 points to close at 34,088.56 points level, while KSE-30 shares index went down by 0.46 percent or 74.87 points to end at 16,085.37 points level.

Of 349 active scrips, 112 moved up, 202 retreated, and 35 remained unchanged. The ready market volumes stood at 159.680 billion shares, as compared with the turnover of 144.849 billion shares in the previous session.

Muhammad Faizan Munshey, head of foreign institutional sales at Next Capital, said “Pakistan equities closed slightly lower after falling more than 450 points during the day.” A rally in the last half an hour brought the index in the positive zone, adjusting the losses, he added.

Commercial banks, OMCs, pharmaceuticals and auto assemblers were the major draggers of the index losses in today’s session, collectively shedding 127 points. Trading volume improved slightly to 160 million shares compared to 145 million shares traded during the last session, an analyst said. The dollar hit an all-time high against rupee, gaining Rs5.18 in the interbank bank, trading at Rs162.16/dollar.

A leading analyst said the new wave of depreciation and expected rise in gas and electricity tariff unnerved the investors

Analyst Ahsan Mehanti from Arif Habib Corporations said, “Pressure remained at the stock market, as investors weighed dismal data on large scale manufacturing sector declining by 7.8 percent in April 2019.”

Oil stocks outperformed on surge in global crude oil prices. Also, record fall in rupee invited early session panic. Weak global equities, delay in the execution of the market support funds, and expected surge in power tariff to ease circular debt crises played a catalytic role in the bearish close at the market, Mehanti added.

The highest gainers were Nestle Pakistan, up Rs113.68 to close at Rs6,799.00/share, and Pakistan Tobacco, up Rs97.38 to finish at Rs2,503.44/share.

Companies that booked highest losses were Wyeth Pakistan Limited, down Rs37.20 to close at Rs706.80/share, and Mari Petroleum, down Rs18.92 to close at Rs1,016.11/share.

Bank of Punjab recorded the highest volumes with a turnover of 8.780 million shares. The scrip lost Rs0.05 to close at Rs9.19/share. The lowest volumes were witnessed in DG Khan Cement, recording a turnover of 3.613 million shares, whereas the scrip lost Rs1.48 to end at Rs55.43/share.

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