KARACHI: Stock market tumbled on Tuesday as nervous investors rushed to offload their positions due to unrelenting rupee devaluation, growing rumours of an interest rate hike and persistent political uncertainty amid unending public protests against inflated power bills as a result the KSE benchmark index settled below the psychological level of 47,000 points.

Topline Securities said the market sentiment rem­a­ined bearish from the start of trading as investors opted to trim their equity positions amidst vibes of a likely prepone Monetary Pol­i­cy Committee meeting where there is a strong likelihood of an aggressive hike (200-300bps) in the State Bank’s policy rate to curtail run on the rupee whi­ch is facing headwinds in both interbank and open market.

The benchmark index hit the intraday low at 46,598.24 by losing 880.30 points, but the index closed the session at 46,770.42 points, down 708.19 points or 1.49pc from the preceding session.

Sectors contributing negatively to the index inclu­ded technology and communication (152.85 points), oil and gas exploration sector (118.17 points) and banking (107.30 points).

The trading volume swelled to 217.85 million shares from overnight’s 184 million shares.

The company-wise negative contribution to the benchmark index was led by Systems Ltd (167.45 points), Hub Power (51.73 points) and Pakistan Petrol­eum Ltd (45.63 points).

Stocks contributing significantly to the trading volume included World­Call Telecom (27.40m shares), K-Electric (14.73m shares), Dewan Motors (9.5m shares), Nishat Chunian (9.01m shares) and Pakistan Petroleum (8.3m shares).

Companies registering the biggest increases in their share prices in absolute terms were Sanofi Aventis (Rs48.00), Al-Abbas Sugar (Rs17.99), Pakistan International Cont­ainer Termi­nal (Rs6.56), Feroze­1­888 Mills (Rs5.25) and Abbot Lab (Rs5.08).

Companies that recorded the biggest declines in their share prices in absolute terms were Rafhan Maize (Rs45), System Ltd (Rs34.44), Bata Pakistan (Rs25.01), Colgate Palmo­live (Rs22.97) and Attock Petroleum (Rs21.60).

Foreign investors continued cherrypicking at attractive levels and bought shares worth $1.44m.

Published in Dawn, August 30th, 2023

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