The Pakistan Stock Exchange endured a range-bound trading session on Wednesday as the benchmark KSE-100 index faced both bullish and bearish pressures but ended the day on a negative note.

The trading session started on a positive note but it registered a sharp decline around midday as investors weighed the impact of global equity sell-off.

A surging inter-bank lending rate – Kibor – which neared 14.1% coupled with uncertainty about the resumption of International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout programme dented investors’ sentiment.

Moreover, the release of dismal data that showed Rs3.2 trillion fiscal deficit for Jul-Mar FY22 further dented the confidence of investors, leading to profit-taking later in the day.

In addition, falling global crude oil prices also resulted in the bearish close of the stock market.

Earlier, the KSE-100 index jumped as soon as trading began, touching intra-day high of 45,958.37 points. However, the bullish spell ended later as the market entered the negative territory towards midday.

From that point onwards, the bearish pressure continued to haunt the market, where the index ended the day on a negative note.

At close, the benchmark KSE-100 index recorded a decrease of 284.38 points, or 0.62%, to settle at 45,533.30 points.

Topline Securities, in its report, said that Pakistan equities had a mixed day. The market initially opened in the green zone, touched intra-day high of 45,958 (+141 points or 0.31%) and intra-day low of 45,481 (-335 points or 0.73%) and settled at 45,533 (-284 points or 0.62%).

“Fertiliser, technology, chemical and power-sector stocks contributed negatively to the benchmark index where Fauji Fertiliser Company, Systems Limited, Dawood Hercules, Engro Polymer and Chemicals and Hubco lost 214 points cumulatively,” Topline said.

“On the flip side, Cnergyico, Habib Metropolitan Bank and Bank AL Habib saw some buying interest as they added 52 points collectively,” the report added.

A report of Arif Habib Limited stated that the PSX had a range-bound session and the KSE-100 index remained volatile throughout the day due to expectations of rate hike in the upcoming monetary policy as Kibor reached a 13-year high.

On the contrary, a rally was witnessed in the refinery sector due to rumours of approval of refinery policy, it said.

The last trading hour witnessed profit-selling across the board, which resulted in the session ending in the red zone, the report added.

Main board activity remained dull, although hefty volumes were witnessed in third-tier stocks.

“Volumes increased from 210.2 million shares to 223.8 million shares (+6.5% day-on-day). Average traded value decreased 10.3% to reach $30.1 million as against $33.6 million,” it said.

JS Global analyst Neelam Naz said that correction continued at the stock market as the index closed at 45,533, down 284 points day-on-day.

Total traded volume stood at 224 million shares where Cnergyico (+9%), Pakistan Refinery Limited (+6.1%), G3 Technologies (-0.3%), Pak Elektron (+0.2%) and Telecard (-3%) were the volume leaders.

Investors booked gains in Fauji Fertiliser Company after its result announcement where it declared a dividend of Rs3.7 per share and earnings of Rs4.9 per share for the Jan-Mar quarter, she said.

“Major index draggers were Fauji Fertiliser Company, Engro Fertilisers, Engro Corp, Engro Polymer and Chemicals and UBL. Going forward, we recommend investors to avail the ongoing correction as a buying opportunity with focus on value stocks,” the analyst said.

Overall trading volumes increased to 223.8 million shares compared with Tuesday’s tally of 210.2 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs5.6 billion.

Shares of 331 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 116 stocks closed higher, 186 declined and 29 remained unchanged.

Cnergyico PK was the volume leader with 63.7 million shares, gaining Rs0.56 to close at Rs6.79. It was followed by Pak Refinery with 26.2 million shares, gaining Rs0.98 to close at Rs17.17 and G3 Technologies with 11.3 million shares, losing Rs0.03 to close at Rs11.69.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs11.9 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.

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