KARACHI: Stocks were under pressure in the outgoing week with the KSE-100 index losing 363 points, or 0.8 per cent, and close at 45,867 points.
Equities closed in the red in four of the five trading sessions. The big worry on the investors’ mind was the possible outcome of the FATF plenary meeting which took place between Feb 22 to 25 to determine Pakistan’s status. Although the FATF board admitted that progress had been made by the country on the anti-money laundering measures, it still remained short by 3 of the 27 initial action points that resulted in postponement of Pakistan getting off the grey list still June.
Other than that the rising political noise leading to the Senate elections on March 3 kept investors in check, so did the blues that come with the roll-over week and concerns about the satisfactory settlement by the end of the week.
Going forward, stock strategists are generally confident that the market is likely to climb in the week ahead as uncertainty ended after FATF’s decision to retain Pakistan on grey list till June.
The government vows to lift all bans related to the Covid-19 next month which is a major positive for economic activities and the market. On the political front temperatures are likely to rise leading to the elections to the Senate on March 3.
Across the border the ceasefire with India on the Line of Control is a right contribution in creating geo-political stability.
Some of the top-tier corporates would disclose financial results in the upcoming week where investors hope for healthy profit and pay-outs that could further support the market sentiments.
Published in Dawn, February 28th, 2021