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Bears hold sway at PSX as political tensions weigh

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  • KSE-100 index plunges 388.62 points to settle at 42,873.35.
  • Benchmark index falls below 43,000-point mark.
  • Uncertainty in international crude oil market also fuelled bearish momentum.

KARACHI: The bears maintained their control over the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) on Tuesday, in line with the preceding session, as the market reacted to repercussions of political uncertainty.

In the backdrop of a worsening political scenario coupled with poor economic data as a result of the rising geopolitical tensions and commodity prices in the international market, the index fell below the 43,000-point mark.

At the close, the benchmark KSE-100 index plunged 388.62 points, or 0.90%, to settle at 42,873.35 points.

Political instability following the Opposition’s decision to submit the no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan in the National Assembly Secretariat impacted the investment climate.

Uncertainty in the international crude oil market coupled with projections benchmark interest rate also fuelled the bearish momentum.

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) later after the session announced that the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has decided to hold the policy rate at 9.75% for the next six weeks.

Arif Habib Limited in its post-market commentary noted that a volatile session was observed today due to political unrest and an overheated commodities cycle.

“The market opened in the red zone and stayed under pressure throughout the day,” it said, adding that the cement sector stayed in the red zone due to mounting international coal prices.

Meanwhile, in the last trading hour, across the board selling was witnessed.

Sectors contributing to the performance included banks (-85.8 points), cement (-67.7 points), exploration and production (-62.1 points), power (-37.3 points) and oil marketing companies (-34 points).

Shares of 343 companies were traded during the session. At the close of trading, 102 scrips closed in the green, 223 in the red, and 18 remained unchanged.

Overall trading volumes dropped to 226.10 million shares compared with Monday’s tally of 236.88 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs7.12 billion.

TPL Corporation was the volume leader with 17.35 million shares traded, losing Re1 to close at Rs10.46. It was followed by Unity Foods with 17.18 million shares traded, losing Rs1.49 to close at Rs23.64, and Ghani Global Holdings with 16.90 million shares traded, losing Rs0.87 to close at Rs15.83.

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The gold price in Pakistan today

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According to the All Sindh Sarafa Jewellers Association, the price of 10 grammes of 24 karat gold increased by Rs772 to Rs184,928 from Rs184,156, while the price of 10 grammes of 22 carat gold increased to Rs169,517 from Rs168,810.

These oscillations are strongly correlated with shifts in the US dollar’s value, demonstrating the complex interplay between gold prices and exchange rates.

This emphasises how local gold prices are impacted by events related to the global economy.

On the other hand, the cost of 24-karat silver was constant at Rs 2,570. Globally, too, the price of gold increased somewhat by $9 to $2,057 per ounce.

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Pakistan receives a $2 billion loan from China, according to the finance minister

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The $2 billion loan was one year ahead of schedule and became due in March. According to reports, Beijing had informed Islamabad of the decision.

The International Monetary Fund granted Pakistan’s cash-strapped economy a $3 billion standby arrangement last summer, but the country is still battling to recover from the financial crisis.

According to ratings firm Fitch, one of the top concerns confronting the next administration would be obtaining funding from bilateral and multilateral partners due to Pakistan’s precarious foreign situation, as was stated last week.

This event occurs one month after Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar, the acting prime minister, asked for a $2 billion loan to be rolled over for a year in a letter to his Chinese counterpart.

In his letter, Kakar also expressed gratitude for China’s efforts to lessen Pakistan’s load

of foreign payments.

It is to be noted that Pakistan acquired safe deposits of $4 billion from China to address the balance of payments issue.

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“Ready to work with Pakistan’s new government,” the IMF said.

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In response to the former premier’s request, IMF Director of Communications Julie Kozak stated, “I’m not going to comment on ongoing political developments,” during a news conference.

She continued by saying that they “look forward to working on policies to ensure macroeconomic stability and prosperity for all of Pakistan’s citizens with the new government.”

In addition to stating that the plan is “supporting the authority’s efforts to stabilise the economy and to, of course, with a strong focus on protecting the most vulnerable,” Kozack said the lender increased the total disbursements under the Standby Arrangement (SBA) to $1.9 billion.

This has been accomplished by closely adhering to budgetary constraints and safeguarding the social safety net. In order to keep foreign exchange reserves growing and rein in inflation, a strict monetary policy stance has been maintained, the speaker stated.

The PTI founding chairman decided to write a letter to the international lender, asking it to demand an audit of the election held on February 8 before it proceeds with discussions with Islamabad for a new loan programme. This move prompted the IMF to release its statement.

In response to the former premier’s request, IMF Director of Communications Julie Kozak stated, “I’m not going to comment on ongoing political developments,” during a news conference.

She continued by saying that they “look forward to working on policies to ensure macroeconomic stability and prosperity for all of Pakistan’s citizens with the new government.”

In addition to stating that the plan is “supporting the authority’s efforts to stabilise the economy and to, of course, with a strong focus on protecting the most vulnerable,” Kozack said the lender increased the total disbursements under the Standby Arrangement (SBA) to $1.9 billion.

This has been accomplished by closely adhering to budgetary constraints and safeguarding the social safety net. In order to keep foreign exchange reserves growing and rein in inflation, a strict monetary policy stance has been maintained, the speaker stated.

The PTI founding chairman decided to write a letter to the international lender, asking it to demand an audit of the election held on February 8 before it proceeds with discussions with Islamabad for a new loan programme. This move prompted the IMF to release its statement.

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