KARACHI: The benchmark index of the Pakistan Stock Exchange plunged on Monday as an across-the-board selling spree pushed share prices into the red zone.

According to Arif Habib Ltd, prevailing political uncertainty and the rupee’s depreciation against the dollar hurt investors’ confidence, which resulted in panic selling.

The indecision of the political leadership over the timing of the withdrawal of fuel and electricity subsidies

has unnerved investors. Moreover, the exchange rate remains in a downward spiral with the rupee losing another 0.85 per cent on Monday to close at 194.18.

“Investors were expecting petroleum prices to increase owing to a rise in international oil prices coupled with the revival of the Inter­national Monetary Fund,” said Topline Securities.

As a result, the KSE-100 index settled at 42,667.32 points, down 819.14 points or 1.88 per cent from a day ago.

The trading volume increased 20.3pc to 250.4 million shares while the traded value went up 27.8pc to $45.9m on a day-on-day basis.

Stocks contributing significantly to the traded volume included Lotte Chemi­cal Pak­istan Ltd (18.14m shares), Pakistan Refinery Ltd (18.06m shares), Cner­gyico PK Ltd (14.16m shares), Telecard Ltd (12.44m shares) and WorldCall Telecom Ltd (11.93m shares).

Sectors that took away the highest number of points from the benchmark index included commercial banking (171.9 points), cement (125.14 points), oil and gas exploration (110.11 points), technology and communication (108.08 points) and fertiliser (68.07 points).

Shares contributing most negatively to the index included Systems Ltd (72.06 points), Lucky Cement Ltd (60.24 points), Meezan Bank Ltd (48.39 points), Pakistan Petroleum Ltd (38.1 points) and Oil and Gas Develop­ment Company Ltd (35.54 points).

Stocks that contributed most positively to the index included Engro Polymer and Chemicals Ltd (47.53 points), Lotte Chemical Pakistan Ltd (11.04 points), Packages Ltd (6.23 points), Colgate-Palmolive Pakistan Ltd (1.93 points) and Pak Suzuki Motor Company Ltd (1.28 points).

Shares that registered the largest declines in percentage terms were Tariq Glass Industries Ltd (7.41pc), Yousaf Weaving Mills Ltd (7.29pc), Pak Elektron Ltd (6.64pc), Pioneer Cement Ltd (6.53pc) and Highnoon Laboratories Ltd (6.22pc).

Foreign investors were net sellers as they offloaded shares worth $1.69m.

Published in Dawn, May 17th, 2022

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