KARACHI: The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) witnessed a meltdown on Monday as post-election political instability triggered an across-the-board panic selling, which dragged the benchmark KSE 100-share index below 61,000 hitting an intraday low at 60,647.68.

Arif Habib Ltd Head of Research Tahir Abbas told Dawn that the political landscape ambiguity along with lack of clarity on the circular debt resolution plan dented the market sentiments.

“The market needs clarity on government formation and key portfolios of finance, energy and industries ministries along with the economic roadmap of the new government,” he added.

Topline Securities Ltd said extending last week’s momentum, the equities commenced the trading on a negative note and remained bearish throughout the session.

KSE index plunges 1,878 points to settle at 61,065

However, some value hunters opted to do some cherry-picking at attractive levels which helped the benchmark index to gain some earlier lost ground.

Pak-Kuwait Investment Company Head of Research Samiullah Tariq told Dawn that the split mandate and uncertainty about the formation of a new coalition government hit investor sentiments.

“The IMF has already made it clear that it will be negotiating the last review under the current $3bn Stand-By Arrangement, concluding in March, and a new programme with an elected government,” Mr Sami said.

So the market is expected to remain under pressure unless clarity emerges on which parties are going to form the new coalition government, he remarked.

He added that the caretakers’ plans for circular debt and industrial power tariff reduction may not be cleared by the IMF any sooner, so investors were a little worried.

Resultantly, the exploration and production, power and cement sectors came under heavy selling pressure as Oil and Gas Development Company Ltd, Pakistan Petroleum Ltd, Mari Petroleum, Hub Power and Lucky Cement cumulative wiped out 640 points from the index.

Ahsan Mehanti of Arif Habib Corporation said Moody’s rating concerns over political instability, policy uncertainty and high leveraging at PSX played a catalyst role in the bearish close.

Protests across the country by political parties on alleged poll rigging and security unrest in the country kept the investor sentiment subdued, he added.

However, he said the Special Investment Facilitation Council initiatives would be a silver lining for the new coalition government likely to attract investment commitment from Qatar, the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Also, strong financial results and 26pc year on year surge in remittances to $2.4bn in January boosted sentiments.

As a result, the KSE-100 index closed at 61,065.32 points after tumbling by 1,878.43 points or 2.98 per cent from the preceding session.

The overall trading volume surged 36.61pc to 349.97 million shares. The traded value also edged up 1.72pc to Rs12.74bn on a day-on-day basis.

Stocks contributing significantly to the traded volume included Pakistan K-Electric (50.34m shares), WorldCall Telecom Ltd (34.62m shares), Oil and Gas Development Company Ltd (14.93m shares) and Hascol Petroleum Ltd (13.21m shares) and Pakistan Petroleum Ltd (12.88m shares).

Companies registering the biggest decreases in their share prices in absolute terms were Mari Petroleum Ltd (Rs127.10), Hoechst Pakistan Ltd (Rs80.00), Bata Pakistan Ltd (Rs34.97), Al-Ghazi Tra­ctors Ltd (Rs27.75) and Att­ock Petroleum Ltd (Rs25.87).

Shares registering the biggest increases in their share prices in absolute terms were Pakistan Hotels Developers Ltd (Rs28.47), Ibrahim Fibres Ltd (Rs10.00), Cres­cent Cotton Ltd (Rs4.83), Sazgar Engineering Ltd (Rs4.47) and EMCO Ltd (Rs2.00).

Foreign investors remained net buyers as they bought shares worth $0.65m.

Published in Dawn, February 13th, 2024

Follow Dawn Business on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook for insights on business, finance and tech from Pakistan and across the world.

Opinion

Editorial

Time for dialogue
Updated 24 Jun, 2024

Time for dialogue

If the PML-N and PTI remain mired in mutual acrimony, an ever-widening gap will continue to allow non-political forces to assert themselves.
Property taxes
24 Jun, 2024

Property taxes

ACCORDING to reports in the local media, along with the higher taxes imposed on real estate in the recent budget, ...
Fierce heat
24 Jun, 2024

Fierce heat

CLIMATE change is unfolding as predicted by experts: savage heat, melting glaciers, extreme rainfall, drought, ...
China’s concerns
23 Jun, 2024

China’s concerns

Pakistan has no option but to neutralise militant threat to Chinese projects, as well as address its business and political stability concerns.
War drums
23 Jun, 2024

War drums

If it is foolish enough to launch another war in Lebanon, Tel Aviv will be solely responsible for setting the Middle East on fire.
Balochistan budget
23 Jun, 2024

Balochistan budget

BALOCHISTAN’S Rs955.6bn budget for the fiscal year 2024-25 makes many pledges to the poor citizens of Pakistan’s...