Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) saw panic among investors caused by the delay in the expected announcement regarding the revival of the loan program with the IMF. As per Arif Habib Ltd, the economic outlook appeared grim as the rupee fell under enormous pressure yet again. Soaring inflation and the depreciation of the local currency to Rs175.73 a dollar in comparison to Rs170.01 in the prior week before hurting the investor sentiment even more. Hence, the benchmark index of PSX closed at 45,749 points after shedding 1,547 points or 3.3 percent from the previous week. In terms of sectors, negative contributions to the KSE-100 index were from banking (277 points), cement (255 points), technology (226 points), exploration and production (140 points), and engineering (90 points). Sectors contributing positively to the KSE-100 index were fertilizer (37 points) and glass and ceramics (three points). Scrip-wise, TRG Pakistan Ltd (140 points), Pakistan Petroleum Ltd (73 points), Oil and Gas Development Company Ltd (70 points), Lucky Cement Ltd (65 points), and United Bank Ltd (65 points) contributed to the index negatively. Shares with a positive contribution to the index were Fauji Fertiliser Company Ltd (48 points), Engro Fertilisers (17 points), and Allied Bank Ltd (nine points). Foreign selling continued its pace during the outgoing week and totaled $5.3 million against a net sale of $11.2m in the prior week. Major selling was observed in commercial banking ($7.6m) and cement ($3m) sectors. In the local context, segments that reported a net buy were companies ($6.5m) and insurance ($5.7m). The average daily trading volume was recorded at 316m shares, dipping by 26pc from a week ago. The average daily traded value stayed at $63m after dropping 29pc on a week-on-week basis. As per AKD Securities, a deal with the IMF will lead to a much-needed boost for the stock market in the future. It must be noted that there is increasing political uncertainty in the country as opposition parties continue to threaten stage protests across Pakistan. “The other key factor influencing the market performance is monetary policy, which is due to be announced towards the end of the month,” AKD Securities stated, noting that investors should opt for “thematic plays” such as banks regarding monetary tightening, construction-driven sectors like cement and steel, and textile companies regarding devaluation and strong export prospects.