KARACHI: The trading on the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) began on a negative note in the outgoing week amidst a lack of positive triggers.

According to Arif Habib Ltd, negative sentiments were on account of a widening trade deficit and surging inflation. An alleged case of Omicron, the latest variant of Covid-19, in Karachi further deteriorated the investors’ sentiments.

However, the overall mood changed after the doctors found the variant to be non-lethal. Moreover, encouraging cement despatches, which went up seven per cent year-on-year, along with the expected resolution of the gas circular debt kept the momentum positive. But nervousness took over soon afterwards on the expectation of a hike in the benchmark interest rate.

As a result, the KSE-100 index closed at 43,396 points, gaining 163 points or 0.38pc on a week-on-week basis.

Sector-wise, positive contributions came from oil and gas exploration (320 points), technology and communication (257 points), food and personal care (32 points), chemical (29 points) and insurance (10 points).

Sectors that contributed negatively to the benchmark index were commercial banking (187 points) and cement (112 points).

Share-wise, positive contributors were TRG Pakistan Ltd (208 points), Pakistan Petroleum Ltd (155 points), Oil and Gas Development Company (101 points), Systems Ltd (49 points) and Mari Petroleum Ltd (34 points). Meanwhile, negative contributors were Engro Corporation (66 points), Habib Bank Ltd (64 points) and United Bank Ltd (44 points).

Foreign selling slowed down in the outgoing week and amounted to $1m versus a net sell of $62.84m in the preceding week. Major selling was witnessed in cement ($1.2m), fertiliser ($0.5m) and exploration and production ($0.3m).

On the local front, buying was reported by “other organisations” ($3.9m) followed by companies ($2.1m) and individuals ($1.3m). The daily average volume clocked in at 204m shares, down 36pc from a week ago, while the average value traded settled at $42m, down 54pc on a weekly basis.

AKD Securities said the future direction of the stock market will partly depend on a number of data points, including the monetary policy announcement due on Tuesday. The brokerage expects an increase of 125-150 basis points in the benchmark interest rate.

Another important data point, it says, will be the trade deficit figure. A decline in imports for December will provide the market with a sigh of relief. “Overall, we continue to advocate for thematic plays, which include banks (on monetary tightening), construction-driven sectors (cements and steel) and textiles (on devaluations and strong export prospects),” it said.

Published in Dawn, December 12th, 2021

Opinion

Editorial

Pawn sacrifice
Updated 19 Aug, 2022

Pawn sacrifice

Concerns over torture allegedly perpetrated against Gill are valid and must be looked into forthwith.
Frozen conflict
19 Aug, 2022

Frozen conflict

THE recent discovery of the body of an Indian soldier lost in an ice storm on the Siachen glacier 38 years ago yet...
Deadly rains
19 Aug, 2022

Deadly rains

THERE seems to be no end to our monsoon misery. Deadly rains continue to lash several parts of the country,...
The fall guy
Updated 18 Aug, 2022

The fall guy

Maryam’s public distancing from Miftah over recent fuel price hike is quite uncalled for.
Never-ending scourge
18 Aug, 2022

Never-ending scourge

POLIO eradication efforts in the country appear to have suddenly taken a giant leap backwards. A day after...
Frozen Afghan funds
18 Aug, 2022

Frozen Afghan funds

WITH Afghanistan facing a humanitarian catastrophe and economic collapse, the American decision to not release ...