KARACHI: The benchmark of representative shares of the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) moved within a short range during the outgoing week on political and economic crises.

Arif Habib Ltd said the terrorist attack in Peshawar, which caused concerns about the overall security situation in the country, took a toll on the index.

However, the commencement of talks between the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the government for the ninth review in Islamabad brought back the bulls, which pushed the index up by 826 points in intraday trading on Tuesday.

On the economic front, official data depicted a reduction in the trade deficit by 22.7 per cent year-on-year and 6.9pc month-on-month. Meanwhile, inflation for January reached 27.5pc, highest since 1975, which put pressure on the index.

Furthermore, reserves of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) showcased a reduction of $592 million to settle at $3.1bn. The rupee depreciated by 13.58 or 5.32pc on a weekly basis against the dollar to close the week at 276.58.

Still the benchmark managed to close at 40,471 points, up 21 points or 0.05pc from a week ago.

Sector-wise, positive contributions came from power generation and distribution (101 points), fertiliser (79 points), automobile assembling (38 points), cement (33 points) and pharmaceutical (29 points).

Whereas, sectors that contributed negatively were miscellaneous (245 points), commercial banking (39 points) and technology and communication (35 points).

Scrip-wise, positive contributors were the Hub Power Company Ltd (98 points), Engro Corporation Ltd (88 points), Mari Petroleum Company Ltd (69 points), Engro Fertilisers Ltd (48 points) and Lucky Cement Ltd (47 points).

According to AKD Securities, the market is expected to remain under pressure in the near future because of concerns stemming from political and economic fronts.

“Any news flow regarding foreign inflows, whether from the IMF or other bilateral and multilateral sources, would support the market trajectory,” it added.

Published in Dawn, February 5th, 2023

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