Weekly Review: market to stay range bound on delay in IMF program

KARACHI: The equity market likely to stay range bound next week due to delay in the IMF agreement, analysts said on Saturday.

Key near term events include visit of the Malaysian Premier on Pakistan Day (23rd Mar’19) as well as the State Bank of Pakistan’s Monetary Policy this month.

Analysts at Arif Habib Limited said that market climate appeared gloomy this week with investors cautiously navigating through murky waters.

As economic headwinds continue to subdue overall growth, market participants have hopes attached to a potential agreement with the IMF to bring the economy back to the right track and improve sentiment.

This week, the benchmark index lost 643 points (-1.7 percent WoW) to settle at 38,306 points.

Sector-wise negative contributions came from i) Commercial Banks (149 points), ii) Cement (120 points), iii) Oil and Gas Exploration Companies (109 points), iv) Oil and Gas Marketing Companies (76 points), and v) Power Generation & Distribution Companies (53 points).

Whereas, sectors that contributed positively include i) Tobacco (48 points), and ii) Textile Composite (7 points). Scrip-wise major laggards were LUCK (68 points), MCB (50 points), POL (49 points), HBL (48 points) and OGDC (39 points).

Foreign selling continued this week clocking-in at USD 15.6mn compared to a net sell of USD 3.5mn last week. Selling was witnessed in Exploration & Production (USD 13.4mn) and Cement (USD 1.5mn).

On the domestic front, major buying was reported by Insurance (USD 8.3mn) and Companies (USD 3.6mn). Volumes during the week settled at 93mn shares (down by 18 percent WoW) whereas value traded arrived at USD 27mn (down by 21 percent WoW).

Other major news: i) Overseas Pakistanis remit USD 14.35bn in 8MFY19, ii) Trade deficit narrows 11 percent to USD 21.5bn in Jul-Feb’19, iii) Foreign reserves increase to USD 14.965bn, iv) LSM growth falls by 2.3 percent in 7 months, v) Largest hosiery producer goes public, vi) and PSDP for FY2019-20 likely to stay unchanged at PKR 675bn.

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