The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) saw a bloodbath Monday, with the benchmark KSE-100 Index shedding 1,900 points as political uncertainty clouded the outcome of a Supreme Court-sanctioned probe into the Sharif family’s business dealings abroad.
The benchmark index plunged 4.08 per cent, falling through the 45,000 level to close at 44,665.41 points. The market recorded the day’s low at 44,639.82 points during the trading session.
It was a one-way street, as the market’s open at 46,565 remained the day’s high.
According to Topline Securities, the market experienced the sharp drop in value on the very first day of the new fiscal year.
The last time such the index tanked over 4pc was in August 2015, when China depreciated the Yuan, and before that in August 2014 during the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s sit-in in Islamabad.
The banking sector led activity at the bourse, with over 34 million shares traded, followed by the cement and the communication sectors with 21.4 and 16.6 million shares, respectively.
Senior analyst Ahsan Mehanti attributed the prevailing bearish sentiment to apprehensions over the outcome of the Panamagate probe into the Sharif family’s business dealings abroad.
“Investors in the capital market are fearing that it [the decision on the Panama Papers investigations] might be against the ruling regime,” he told Dawn.com.
He was of the view that uncertainty will prevail over the market until July 10, which is when the JIT is expected to submit its report before the Supreme Court bench overseeing it.
Hamad Aslam, director and head of research at Elixir Securities Pakistan, also held that the JIT is the main factor behind the bearish activity.
He was of the opinion that, on one hand, the market was experiencing a correction, whereas on the other, long-term investors were waiting for the market to settle down so they could invest in mutual funds.
“Usually, long term investors prefer to invest in mutual funds when the market is bearish, so I am confident that the market will take a u-turn around July 10 when the benchmark will be on an upward trajectory amid already lowered prices,” he said.
He was optimistic that Rs30-40 billion could be injected into the capital market within the next two weeks.
Topline Securities in an analyst note said that today’s performance was underpinned by across-the-board selling, while institutions failed to provide support to the market.
“It is likely that those currently in the market are trimming positions while those with liquidity likely believe that risk is too high for deployment,” the note said.
A total of 77.7m shares of KSE-100 companies changed hands during the session, with a total worth of nearly Rs7.2 billion.
Stocks of 361 companies in all were traded on the exchange, of which 27 gained in value, whereas 321 declined and 13 remained unchanged.
Volumes were led by:
- Engro Polymer: 10.5m shares traded [-4.99pc];
- Maple Leaf Cement: 9.5m shares traded [-2.56pc];
- Bank of Punjab: 8.4m shares traded [-50pc];
- Bank of Punjab: 8.2m shares traded [-6.37pc];
- TRG Pak Ltd: 8.0m shares traded [-4.99pc];