Volatility gripped the Pakistan Stock Exchange on Thursday as the benchmark KSE-100 index lost 169 points owing to a host of discouraging news reports. Growing political turbulence, with parliament inching closer to a vote on the no-confidence motion, weakened investors’ interest in making stock purchases in the market. Moreover, a fresh rupee slump past 180 against the US dollar in the inter-bank market painted a gloomy picture of the economy and triggered a sell-off in the stock market.
On the international front, the uncertainty over the Russia-Ukraine conflict persisted, which mounted pressure on global markets and impacted the KSE-100 index as well that traded in a narrow range. Earlier, the index jumped as soon as trading began and breached the 44,000-point barrier in the initial minutes. However, the bullish spell ended later as the market entered the negative territory towards midday.
From that point onwards, the bearish pressure continued to haunt the market, where the index ended the day on a negative note. At close, the benchmark KSE-100 index recorded a decrease of 168.46 points, or 0.38%, to settle at 43,807.23 points. Arif Habib Limited, in its report, stated that a range-bound session was observed at the bourse due to political noise. “The market opened in the green zone but stayed volatile throughout the day,” he said. “Mainboard activity remained dull.”
On the flip side, activity continued to remain sideways as the market witnessed hefty volumes in third-tier stocks. In the last trading hour, profit-taking emerged, which led the index to close in the red zone, the report said. Topline Securities, in its report, stated that Pakistan equities played in a range of 389 points where the index hit an intra-day high of 44,187 points and an intra-day low of 43,798 points before settling at 43,807 for the day.
Bank, food, fertilizer, and tech-sector stocks contributed positively where UBL, Nestle, Fauji Fertiliser, Systems Limited, and HBL added 36 points cumulatively. On the flip side, TRG Pakistan, Hubco, and Pakistan Petroleum faced some profit-taking as they lost 59 points collectively, the report said. Overall trading volumes fell to 148.5 million shares compared with Wednesday’s tally of 236.5 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs3 billion.
Shares of 335 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 110 stocks closed higher, 202 declined and 23 remained unchanged. Flying Cement (R) was the volume leader with 36.2 million shares, losing Rs0.08 to close at Rs0.01. It was followed by WorldCall Telecom with 14.6 million shares, losing Rs0.08 to close at Rs1.57, and TPL Properties (XB) with 7.6 million shares, gaining Rs0.41 to close at Rs18.56.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs52.38 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.