- Positive US statement on Pakistan’s nukes improves sentiment
- Rupee depreciation remains a worry for investors
- All-eyes on FATF decision on Pakistan
KARACHI: Stocks on Tuesday managed to anchor themselves on the edges of green, but could not venture much further owing as caution reigns supreme ahead of the FATF decision on Pakistan amid restive political undercurrents, traders said.
The KSE-100 Shares Index, the main gauge of the country’s apex bourse, the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX), gained 84 points or 0.20 percent, to end the day at 41,839 points. The market settled at that number after swinging between a day-high of 42,007.23 and an -low of 41,755.45.
Topline Securities in a post-market note said the US State Department’s positive statement regarding Pakistan’s nuclear programme and the country’s likely whitelisting in the upcoming FATF annual review gave stocks a reason to stay buoyed.
“The official announcement is likely to arrive over the weekend,” the brokerage said.
During the day, technology, E&P, and fertiliser sector stocks supported the index. Scrip-wise, TRG, POL, SNGP, DAWH, and FFC added 89 points, cumulatively, to the index. On the flip side, PSO, NESTLE, and EPCL together lost 25 points.
Out of 90 active companies traded in the session, 49 advanced, 40 retreated and one remained unchanged.
Over 189 million shares were traded, while the total value clocked in at Rs5.8bn. Worldcall Telecom led the volumes chart with 29.8 million traded shares.
The rupee on Tuesday depreciated against the US dollar for the fifth straight session on a spike in demand from importers. The rupee’s downward spiral has been a cause of serious concern over the state of the economy in the near future.
The foreign exchange reserves are dwindling in the absence of new foreign inflows and a tight dollar supply was also weighing on local currency.
The local unit depreciated by 0.37% (Rs0.82) to reach 219.71 in the interbank market, according to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), down in value from the previous close of 218.89.
The dollar also strengthened in the open market as the rupee lost 0.50 to close at 226.20.