PSX sheds 107 points in low-volume session ahead MPC meeting

Market managed to recover most of the losses near the close of the session

The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) remained bearish for the second straight session on Monday amid prospects of increase in benchmark interest rate, with the benchmark KSE-100 Index shedding 107.87 points (-0.23 percent) to close at 46,528.21 points.

The market opened on a positive note but this positiveness sustained for only two minutes and then the market remained in the red zone throughout the session. However, the market managed to recover most of the losses near the close of the session, primarily led by the commercial banks. The KSE-100 Index moved in a range of 476.1 points, showing an intraday high of 46,691.2 points and a low of 46,215.1 points.

Among other indices, the KSE All Share Index shed 149.93 points (-0.47 percent) to close at 31,860.27 points, while All Share Islamic Index shed 137.19 points (-0.6 percent) to close at 22,727.22 points.

A total of 368 companies traded shares in the stock exchange, out of them shares of 109 closed up, shares of 246 closed down while shares of 13 companies remained unchanged. Out of 95 traded companies in the KSE-100 Index, 32 closed up, 62 closed down, while one remained unchanged.

The overall market volumes decreased by 192.57 million to 194.72 million shares. Total volume traded for the KSE-100 Index was 75.26 million shares. The number of total trades decreased by 37,702 to 88,914, while the value traded decreased by Rs8.16 billion to Rs8.08 billion. The market capitalisation decreased by Rs41.99 billion.

Among scrips, TELE posted top volumes with 19.86 million shares, followed by WTL (13.37 million) and BYCO (11.31 million). Stocks that contributed significantly to the volumes include TELE, WTL, BYCO, TRG and TPLP, which formed around 33 percent of total volumes.

Sector wise, the index was let down by oil & gas exploration companies with 33 points, textile composite with 26 points, food & personal care products with 17 points, fertilizer with 16 points and refinery with 15 points. The most points taken off the index were by OGDC which stripped the index of 22 points followed by SYS with 17 points, KOHC with 14 points, ENGRO with 14 points and MEBL with 13 points.

The sectors propping up the index were miscellaneous with 46 points, commercial banks with 16 points, automobile assembler with 6 points, power generation & distribution with 3 points and cement with 2 points. The most points added to the index were by PSEL which contributed 46 points followed by MCB with 42 points, UBL with 20 points, LUCK with 13 points and SNGP with 11 points.

According to experts, the market witnessed selling pressure throughout the day due to the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting of the State Bank of Pakistan. The SBP increased the benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points to 7.25 percent for the next two months. The decision was announced after the closure of the market and the central bank increased the interest rate to 7.25 percent from 7 percent.

The experts said that inflationary pressure and rising current account deficit (CAD) issues also kept the investor cautious. However, the low-volume session indicated that all is not bad, they added.