Market watch: Stocks dip ahead of IMF mission arrival

Bears staged a comeback at the bourse on Wednesday as the benchmark KSE-100 index shed nearly 140 points amid a lack of positive triggers and an uncertain political and economic outlook.

The KSE-100 endured a range bound session, which ended on a bearish note, ahead of the visit of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission to Pakistan.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh revealed that an IMF mission would visit Pakistan in a few weeks to finalise a deal.

The downtrend was further fuelled by rising coronavirus cases, domestically and globally, which dampened investor confidence, and selling pressure dragged the index down. Profit-booking pushed the market further into the red.

A surge in international crude oil prices failed to lift local investors’ sentiment in the exploration and production sector.

Earlier, the index started falling from the moment trading began and continued to slip throughout the trading session.

At close, the benchmark KSE-100 index recorded a decrease of 138 points, or 0.34%, to settle at 40,514.67 points.

Arif Habib Limited, in its report, stated that the market had a range bound session and it was on a downtrend in contrast with Tuesday’s performance.

“Banking, exploration and production, and cement stocks dipped on concern over the spread of coronavirus as well as resumption of IMF loan programme, which required an upward adjustment in electricity tariff as well as curtailment of subsidies,” it said.

The report added that despite a 1% increase in international crude oil prices during the session, local exploration and production companies failed to react positively.

“Foreign selling of banking sector stocks put extra pressure on the index, which lost 308 points during the session and closed down by 138 points,” it stated.

Sectors contributing to the market performance included exploration and production (-51 points), cement (-24 points), oil and gas marketing (-17 points), fertiliser (-16 points) and food (-10 points).

Individually, stocks that contributed positively to the index included MCB (+15 points), TRG Pakistan (+12 points), International Steels (+6 points), Meezan Bank (+6 points) and Fauji Fertiliser (+5 points).

Stocks that contributed negatively were HBL (-20 points), Pakistan Petroleum (-19 points), Engro Corporation (-17 points), Pakistan State Oil (-14 points) and Pakistan Oilfields (-14 points).

Overall, trading volumes fell to 145.9 million shares compared with Tuesday’s tally of 150.3 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs6.2 billion.

Shares of 377 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 149 stocks closed higher, 203 declined and 25 remained unchanged.

TRG Pakistan was the volume leader with 11.9 million shares, gaining Rs1.20 to close at Rs53.80. It was followed by Unity Foods with 8.8 million shares, gaining Rs0.03 to close at Rs22.86 and Soneri Bank with 6.4 million shares, losing Rs0.26 to close at Rs9.71.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs52.4 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.


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