Pakistan Stock Exchange remained bearish on Thursday as the local bourse was impacted by a drop in international stock markets fueled by concerns regarding rising inflation. The benchmark KSE-100 index shed 281.70 points, or 0.6%, as it closed at 46,348.18.

The US recorded a jump in inflation reaching a 30-year high, which revived concerns of a further hike in global commodity prices leading to stock selling in the international markets. Pakistan also felt its impact as the benchmark KSE 100-share Index dropped 282 points in a lackluster trading session.

Even the domestic currency did not provide any relief as it depreciated further towards the all-time low it had hit in October of the ongoing year.

Investor sentiment was further dampened by the uncertainty negotiations between the government and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) over the revival of the $6 billion loan program leading to investors offloading their holdings.

At the start of the session, it kicked off on an optimistic note, but towards midday, selling pressure dragged it down as the market was trading with trivial ups and downs. Later in the day, acceleration in profit-taking led the index into the red zone resulting in a modest loss at closing.

In its report, Arif Habib Limited stated that the market commenced on a positive note but remained gloomy during the first half of the session. Inflation-related concerns and rupee depreciation prevented the investors from going for fresh positions which led to profit-booking on last-day positions during the second half of the session.

Stock accumulation was seen in the banking sector as the market participants anticipated a hike in rates in the upcoming monetary policy.

As per the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited (NCCPL) foreign investors were net buyers of $2.1 million worth of shares.

Among local investors, Companies and other organizations led the buying chart mopping up $1.7 million and $1.66 million worth of equities respectively.

The market continued to trade sideways and registered hefty volumes in third-tier stocks. On the flip side, institutional activity remained lackluster, the report said.

Analyst at JS Global Waqar Iqbal commented that the session on Thursday saw an intra-day high of 46,844, up 214 points at the start of the session.

However, the index was unable to sustain the momentum later in the day after the rupee was reported at Rs173.8 against the greenback, which dragged the index down to close at 46,348.

Total traded volumes stood at 269 million shares with Ghani Global Holdings (-3.2%), Service Fabrics (+5.7%), Telecard Limited (-1.8%), TPL Properties (-1.3%), and Waves (-2.9%) being the highest contributors.

The analyst added, “In the coming days, the market’s direction will likely be contingent on the outcome of IMF negotiations”.

Overall trading volumes decreased to 269.5 million shares in comparison with Wednesday’s tally of 320.3 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs9.5 billion.

352 companies had their shares traded. Towards the end of the session, 95 stocks closed higher, 232 declined and 25 remained unchanged.

Ghani Global Holdings led in terms of volume traded with 30.2 million shares, dropping  Rs1.05 to close at Rs32.19. Service Fabrics with 20.5 million shares followed next, gaining Rs0.65 to close at Rs12.09 while Telecard Limited XB with 14.3 million shares, losing Rs0.34 closed at Rs18.97.

As per data from the National Clearing Company of Pakistan, foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs368.4 million worth of shares.


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