Stocks edge down by more than 400 points

F.P. Report

KARACHI The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) on Monday has been witnessing bearish trend as the KSE 100-share Index dropped massive 407.42 points or 0.94 percent amid absence of positive triggers, and prevailing negative sentiments among investors due to rising political noise between the political parties.

The Index hit 42,760.35 points as of 3.30pm. The Index today opened at 43,245.13 points.

In the previous week, the market closed at 43,167.77 points, while observing fluctuations in the whole week, and closed in a little bit of negative territory amid political uncertainty that marred the overall trading environment while kept investors’ sentiment subdued.

Earlier, the signing of a phase one trade deal between the U.S. and China to ease the ongoing trade war restored a bit of confidence among the investors. Domestic politics and rising reservations against the ruling party by its allies were also noticed by the investors.

On Friday, the Index opened at 43,093.16 points and the Index managed to close with gains of 102.67 points or 0.24 per cent at 43,167.77 as the stock market took investors on a roller- coaster ride on the last trading day of the week where the volatility intensified in the second session.

Traders had opined that the market was still in search of a direction, which could be provided by the State Bank monetary policy and the herald of corporate results reporting season next week.

Traders were of the view that after a major run-up since August last year, the index was consolidating at the current levels before moving forward. “Early trade has been witnessing much of the volatility and the index has been fluctuating from negatives to positives and vice-versa.”

The emerging disapproval from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) allies over its policies contributed to the slow pace as the disagreements between the PTI government and its allies are being taken as a “sign of a brewing political crisis.”

Two weeks ago, the market witnessed massive overall spike in the stocks as local and foreign investors rampaged across the market to quickly hit upper circuits after the war clouds hanging over the region due to US-Iran hostilities dissipated which provided the investors the much-needed comfort to move funds from gold and money market back to risky assets that may provide higher returns.

There was no major negative news flow that could thwart the market exuberance. On the political front, the belligerent atmosphere in the country took a pause after some reconciliation between the government and the opposition following the consensus passage of Army, Air Force and Navy Amendment Bills.

Earlier, investors’ optimism continued as they saw the market back in the green after two earlier dismal years of negative returns.

From Aug 16, 2019 when the benchmark index had hit the pit at 28,765 points, the market has witnessed a spectacular rally that has carried it up by more than 50pc in fewer than five months.

Improvement on the external front together with stability in the Pakistani Rupee was expected to reassure foreign investors.

Meanwhile, inflationary readings are set to touch peak in January 2020 (this month) with an imminent interest rate cut to follow, domestic investors remain jubilant as well, he said.