Stocks shed 786 points as budget fails to lure investors

KARACHI: The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) witnessed a bloodbath in its first session after the announcement of the federal budget, with the benchmark KSE-100 Index shedding almost 800 points intraday and closing below the 34,000-mark. 

According to analysts, the market remained largely disappointed by the budget, as the investors had expected major tax cuts and incentives from the government.

“Selling pressure was observed across the board from banks to oil and cement sectors, which remained oblivious to the reduction in duties that the government had announced on the import of raw material for various sectors,” said a report issued by Arif Habib Ltd. “The declining trend, however, was also in line with the meltdown witnessed in some equity markets around the world.”

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The KSE-100 Index remained in the negative territory throughout the day, registering its intraday low at 33,814.86 after losing 796.37 points. It closed lower by  786.72 points or -2.27pc at 33,824.51. 

Among other indices, the KMI-30 Index plunged 1,502.31 points to end at 53,628.12, while the KSE All Share Index lost 480.01 points, settling at 24,223.28. Of the total shares traded, 78 advanced and 223 declined.

The overall market volumes increased from 177.9 million shares in the previous session to 262.8 million shares (+48pc). Average traded value also surged by 31pc, from $38.3 million to $50.2 million. Unity Foods Limited (UNITY +2.29pc), Power Cement Limited (POWER -1.11pc) and Azgard Nine Limited (ANL +6.11pc) led the volume chart, exchanging 45.35 million, 10.97 million and 10.34 million shares, respectively.

Sectors that drove the KSE-100 Index south included banking (-178.05 points), oil & gas exploration (-115.10 points) and cement (-99.50 points). Among the companies, MCB Bank Ltd (MCB -51.24 points), Oil and Gas Development Company Ltd (OGDC -49.69 points) and United Bank Ltd (-45.24 points) dented the index the most.

Shedding 3.43pc from its cumulative market capitalization, the oil & gas marketing sector turned out to be the biggest loser of the day, with Pakistan State Oil Company Ltd (PSO -5.03pc), Sui Southern Gas Company Ltd (SSGC -3.28pc), Shell Pakistan Limited (SHEL -3.13pc) and Hi-Tech Lubricants Limited (HTL -5.30pc) closing in the red.

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Ariba Shahid
The author is a business journalist at Profit

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