The Pakistan Stock Exchange fell for the seventh consecutive session on Monday after a fresh wave of rupee depreciation triggered inflationary fears among investors and sparked sell-off at the bourse.
Resultantly, the benchmark KSE-100 index offloaded 256 points and dropped below the 45,000-point barrier.
The local currency slid to an all-time low against the US dollar and closed at Rs169.6, instilling fears of further worsening of the current account deficit and imported inflation. Profit-booking caused damage in all index-heavy sectors and all of them closed in the red.
After a brief rally at the beginning, the KSE-100 index declined as investors opted to book profits and safeguard their positions amid the weakening rupee. The market managed to recover some of the losses in final hours owing to aggressive buying activity.
At close, the benchmark KSE-100 index recorded a decrease of 255.76 points, or 0.57%, to settle at 44,817.76.
In its report, Arif Habib Limited stated that the market posted gains of 163 points earlier in the session, but faced an onslaught soon after, which caused the erosion of gains with a loss of 732 points.
Leveraged positions mostly received the thrashing. The resumption of rupee’s slide was another reason cited for panic selling in the market.
Nonetheless, the selling subsided by the end of session and the market saw aggressive buying activity towards close, which resulted in the index closing with trimmed losses of 256 points.
Volumes remained thin compared with the activity in recent times, where ample volumes were witnessed in blue chips. Fertiliser, exploration and production, oil and gas marketing companies and cement stocks saw quick-paced buying by the end of session, which helped the index to pull back.
Sectors contributing to the performance included banks (-101 points), refinery (-34 points), paper and board (-25 points), investment banks (-23 points) and pharmaceuticals (-20 points).
Stocks that contributed positively to the index were Systems Limited (+50 points), Fauji Fertiliser Company Limited (+18 points), Millat Tractors (+8 points), Kohinoor Textile Mills (+7 points) and Engro Polymer and Chemicals (+7 points).
Stocks that contributed negatively included TRG Pakistan (-51 points), Habib Bank Limited (-51 points), Meezan Bank (-29 points), United Bank Limited (-18 points) and Pakistan State Oil Company (-16 points).
JS Global analyst Maaz Mulla said that downtrend continued at the bourse as selling pressure was witnessed across the board.
The market rebounded from the low of 44,341 points, eventually closing in the red at 44,818 points, he said.
“Going forward, we recommend investors to adopt a buy-on-dip strategy in banking, steel and textile sectors,” the analyst said.
Overall trading volumes dropped to 301.4 million shares compared with Friday’s tally of 369.5 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs11.2 billion.
Shares of 547 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 143 stocks closed higher, 382 declined and 22 remained unchanged.
Unity Foods was the volume leader with 35 million shares, losing Rs1.11 to close at Rs30.80. It was followed by WorldCall Telecom with 32.6 million shares, losing Rs0.11 to close at Rs2.76 and Byco Petroleum with 32.2 million shares, losing Rs0.55 to close at Rs7.01.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs447.8 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan