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KSE-100: Stocks slump as Covid, inflation fears weigh on sentiments: index plummet nearly 1,100 points

Bears trampled the sentiments at Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) on the first trading day of the week, as benchmark KSE-100 lost 1,089.83 points by the closing bell breaching 45,000 level to clock at 44,431.80 points.

On Monday, the market reacted to series of negative economic indicators and succumbed to heavy selling pressure. Pessimism over the economic situation and renewed lockdown restrictions continued selling pressure at the bourse, moreoverinvestor sentiments were also tested by the fears of a possible redemption by Mutual Funds

However, the news flow indicating that the government is set to remove Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh from the post of finance minister and replace him with Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar, which was the major reason of panic-selling. This news, however, was later confirmed by Senator Shibli Faraz after the closing bell.

According to Faraz, Prime Minister Imran Khan had decided to bring in a new finance team in view of “the inflation that had taken place”.

Investors have been speculating and raising concerns ever since the inflation has picked up, primarily after weekly Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI) for the Combined Group posted anincrease by 0.61% during the week ended Mar 25, 2021 while the SPI increased by 15.35% compared to the corresponding period from last year.

According to data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) the Combined Index was at 147.76 compared to 146.86 on Mar 18, 2021 while the index was recorded at 128.1 a year ago, on Mar 26, 2020

During the session, the benchmark KSE-100 Index registered its intraday low at 44,315.43 level after it lost 1,206.2 points.

The volume at KSE-100 slightly recededfrom 321.41 million shares recorded in the previous session to 316.17 million shares, while the all-share volume also decreased from 529.2 million shares recorded in the previous session to 523.877 million shares.

Market Capital decreased by Rs.191.65 billion, while total value traded also decreased by 1.67 billion to Rs.23.51 billion.

The volume chart was ledby Byco Petroleum Pakistan Limited followed by Pakistan Refinery Limited and Azgard Nine Limited. The scrips exchanged 80.25 million, 48.96 million and 45.63 million shares, respectively.

According to the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited (NCCPL) foreign investors were net sellers of worth $1.7 million worth of equities. Among local investors, Individuals and Brokersled the selling chart, and offloaded $4.73 million and $3.52 million worth of equities. However, Banks, Companies and Insurance Companies led the buying chart and mopped up $5.5 million, $2.8 million and $1.4 million worth of equities.

During the session, sectors which dented the index were Commercial Banks with 193 points, Cement with 164 points, Technology & Communication with 122 points, Oil & Gas Marketing Companies with 90 points and Oil & Gas Exploration Companies with 89 points. Among the scrips, the most points taken off the index was by TRG Pakistan which stripped the index of 133 points followed by Lucky cement with 58 points, Muslim Commercial Bank with 47 points, Hub Power Company Limited with 41 points and HabibBank Limited with 39 points.

However, sectors which continued to lift the index were Real Estate Investment Trust with 2 points and Modarabas with 1 point. Among the scrips, the most points added to the index was by Systems Limited which contributed 19 points followed by Saif Power Limited with 2 points, Murree Brewery Company Limitedwith 2 points, Dolmen City REIT with 2 points and Agriauto Industries Limitedwith 1 point.

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