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Stock market falls 1.27pc on political concerns

KARACHI: Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) edged lower on a week-on-week basis despite closing the last three sessions on a positive note, with the benchmark KSE-100 Index losing 810.15 points (-1.27 percent) to close at 63,002.91 points.
Growing concerns on the political front, a lack of positive triggers and uncertainty about the fate of circular debt and state-owned enterprises (SOEs) impacted investor sentiment during the first half of the week under review. However, robust earnings of the companies and export data provided some support to the market and the indices eroded a major portion of losses incurred during the first two sessions of the week.
The market opened on a negative note on Monday and remained in the red throughout the session on account of uncertainty over monetary policy as well as energy circular debt and geopolitical tensions. The KSE-100 Index shed 1,039.34 points (-1.63 percent) during the session. Political uncertainty and foreign selling continued to weigh on the market on Tuesday and the KSE-100 Index lost another 931.98 points (-1.48 percent) to close at 61,841.74 points.
The market managed to make gains in the last three sessions of the week amid ease in foreign selling, but volumes remained low in all these sessions. The benchmark index gained 137.44 points (+0.22 percent) on Wednesday, 414.55 points (+0.67 percent) on Thursday and 609.18 points (+0.98 percent) on Friday to close the week at 63,002.91 points. A positive shift occurred in the market, propelled by the majority of companies reporting a substantial surge in profits.
On the macroeconomic front, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation stood at 28.3 percent year-on-year for January 2024, with a month-on-month uptick of 2.9 percent in food inflation. The State Bank of Pakistan’s decision to keep the Policy Rate unchanged at 22 percent aligned with market expectations, with hints of potential disinflation and softening interest rates going forward. The country’s primary balance for 1HFY24 exceeded the IMF’s proposed performance criteria of Rs1.42 trillion.- TLTP

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