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Trading volumes drop to 20-month low at PSX

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  • Political unrest, rupee depreciation add to woes of local investors.
  • KSE-100 index sheds 286.44 points to settle at 43,366.89.
  • Shares of 334 companies were traded during the session.

 KARACHI: Trading volumes at the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) dropped to a 20-month low on Monday with 115 million shares changing hands during the trading session.

Overall trading volumes declined to 115.11 million shares compared with Friday’s tally of 149.29 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs3.64 billion.

The lacklustre performance at the bourse was witnessed due to rising political unrest in the country in the wake of a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Moreover, the depreciation of the Pakistani rupee against the US dollar — which dropped to an all-time low of Rs178.98 — coupled with rising commodity prices in the international market added fuel to the downtrend.

Investor interest was mostly witnessed in the fertiliser sector over increasing urea prices where Engro Fertiliser, Fauji Fertiliser and Fauji Fertiliser Bin Qasim closed on a higher note

At the close, the benchmark KSE-100 index shed 286.44 points, or 0.66%, to settle at 43,366.89 points.

Benchmark KSE-100 index intra-day trading curve. — PSX data portal
Benchmark KSE-100 index intra-day trading curve. — PSX data portal

Arif Habib Limited in its post-market commentary noted that a range-bound session was observed today due to political unrest.

“The market opened in the green zone and stayed volatile throughout the day,” it said, adding that mainboard activity remained dull.

On the flip-side, activity continued to remain side-ways as the market witnessed hefty volumes in the third-tier stocks. The brokerage house stated that in the last trading hour, across the board selling was witnessed which led the index to close in the red zone.

Sectors contributing to the performance included exploration and production (-57.7 points), banks (-56.7 points), cement (-56.5 points), technology (-52.2 points) and power (-29 points).

Shares of 334 companies were traded during the session. At the close of trading, 79 scrips closed in the green, 242 in the red, and 13 remained unchanged.

Flying Cement was the volume leader with 11.6 million shares traded, losing Rs0.10 to close at Rs0.16. It was followed by Pak Elektron with 8.14 million shares traded, gaining Rs0.18 to close at Rs2, and Ghani Global Holdings with 7.02 million shares traded, losing Rs0.64 to close at Rs14.68.

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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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