KARACHI: The benchmark of the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) lost 881 points or two per cent on a weekly basis to close at 43,233 points at the end of the last trading session.

According to Arif Habib Ltd, trading on the stock market commenced on a positive note in the outgoing week owing to the fall in the international oil prices caused by the outbreak of a new Covid-19 variant, i.e. Omicron.

Moreover, the approval of the Saudi fund of $3 billion and the expectation of its early receipt kept the investors’ sentiments high during the week.

The government also paid Rs135bn as second instalment to independent power producers against their outstanding receivables, which further boosted the positive momentum.

The Pakistan Stock Exchange was reclassified as a frontier market by MSCI, a global index provider, during the outgoing week — a development that analysts expected would bring in higher foreign inflows.

However, trade numbers released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics for November posted a 94pc monthly jump in imports to $8bn.

This took the trade deficit to an all-time high of $5.1bn, up three times on a month-on-month basis, causing a bloodbath on the stock exchange.

This, along with a higher-than-anticipated inflation figure of 11.53pc, created panic in the market.

As a result, the PSX witnessed the worst single-day fall in 20 months on Thursday, losing 2,135 points (or 4.71pc) by the close.

In addition, the rupee depreciated to an all-time low of Rs176.77, which further fuelled the bearish sentiment.

Sector-wise, negative contributions came from technology and communication (198 points), cement (165 points), oil and gas exploration (101 points), textile composite (68 points) and food and personal care (67 points).

Sectors that contributed positively to the index were commercial banking (59 points) and oil and gas marketing (20 points).

Scrip-wise, negative contributors were Lucky Cement Ltd (124 points), TRG Pakistan Ltd (107 points), Systems Ltd (65 points), Mari Petroleum Company Ltd (62 points) and Pakistan Oilfields Ltd (44 points). Positive contributors to the index were Habib Bank Ltd (67 points), Pakistan State Oil Company Ltd (52 points) and United Bank Ltd (40 points).

Foreign selling continued in the outgoing week and amounted to $62.8 million versus a net sell of $39.2m in the preceding week. Major selling came from commercial banks ($27.2m) and cement ($14.8m).

On the local front, buying was reported by companies ($25.7m) and individuals ($16m). The average daily volume clocked in at 319m shares, up 21pc from a week ago. The average value traded settled at $90m, up 51pc from preceding week.

Published in Dawn, December 5th, 2021

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