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Political uncertainty rattles PSX, KSE-100 sheds over 100 points

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  • At close, KSE-100 index sheds 0.23% to settle at 44,337.56 points.
  • Arif Habib Limited notes mainboard activity remained dull.
  • Shares of 354 were traded during the session.

KARACHI: Uncertainty amid noise from the domestic political front kept the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) in the red zone, with the benchmark KSE-100 Index closing the session with a loss of over 100 points.

A record-breaking downward streak of the Pakistani rupee against the US dollar coupled with the ongoing political crisis in the wake of a no-confidence motion kept the investors on the sidelines.

At the close, the KSE-100 Index shed 101.14 points, or 0.23%, to settle at 44,337.56 points.

Benchmark KSE-100 index intra-day trading curve. — PSX data portal
Benchmark KSE-100 index intra-day trading curve. — PSX data portal

A report from Arif Habib Limited noted that the benchmark KSE-100 Index stayed in the red territory during the day due to political unrest and further rupee devaluation against the US dollar.

“Mainboard activity remained dull,” it said, adding that on the flip-side, activity continued to remain side-ways as the market witnessed hefty volumes in the third-tier stocks.

Shares of 354 were traded during the session. At the close of trading, 158 scrips closed in the green, 169 in the red, and 27 remained unchanged.

Overall trading volumes rose to 344.13 million shares compared with Tuesday’s tally of 268.91 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs7.8 billion.

K-Electric was the volume leader with 38.41 million shares traded, value remained unchanged to close at Rs3.11. It was followed by Ghani Global Holdings with 31.11 million shares traded, gaining Rs0.34 to close at Rs16.24, and WorldCall Telecom with 19.94 million shares traded, gaining Rs0.03 to close at Rs1.73.

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An increase in tax was made on restaurant card payments.

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After 15 years, the SRB reduced the service tax that 58 hotels and restaurants in Karachi could have charged on debit and credit card purchases to 15%. This action is a part of the Sindh budget, which was designed to make eating out less expensive for customers.

Prior to this, Sindh’s tax on credit and debit card purchases was lowered from 15% to 8%.

Officials from the SRB have further stated that the service was made available for input adjustment of restaurant tax payments. With this step, businesses will be able to efficiently handle their tax responsibilities and the tax process would be made simpler.

Only a few eateries have been given authority to remove the lower tax rate, even though this tax facility has been reversed.

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The KSE-100 Index rises following a sharp decline in the previous session.

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The government is considering filing a treason case under Article 6 against PTI founder Imran Khan, former president Arif Alvi, and former deputy speaker Qasim Suri. On Tuesday, the KSE-100 Index was up more than 1.3% during early trading, following a day of roughly a 2 percent loss due to growing political unrest and the potential banning of the party.

However, the benchmark index of the Pakistan Stock Exchange was trading at 79,074.63 by 11:49 a.m., having gained 535.45 points, or 0.68 percent, after reaching an intraday high of 79,578.04.

Market analysts said that political tensions were the primary cause of the KSE-100’s earlier Monday decline of 1578.71 points, or 1.97 percent.

They did point out, though, that a correction was a reasonable reaction to the protracted upswing that allowed the benchmark mark index to reach 81,839.86 on July 18.

As a result of interest rate cuts and the possibility of another IMF program, the Pakistan Stock Exchange has gained 22.97 percent so far this year. The cycle began on June 10 with a 1.5 percent decrease in borrowing costs.

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In interbank trade, the US dollar crushes the Pakistani rupee.

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During interbank trade on Tuesday, the US dollar’s value increased by 15 paisas, reaching Rs 278.45.

It is important to remember that Fitch Business Monitor International expressed concern about the possibility that Pakistan’s economic stability may be jeopardized by the ongoing political unrest.

The fragile situation of Pakistan’s economic recovery was emphasized by Fitch in its most recent Pakistan Country Risk Report, which also noted that economic activity has been impeded by urban protests.

(PTI),In spite of multiple successful judicial appeals, the founder of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) is expected to stay behind bars, the article notes, underscoring the fragile political environment.

With no urgent plans for new elections, this scenario suggests that the coalition administration will remain in office for the next 18 months.

Fitch also described an eventuality in which the government could change and be replaced by a technocratic administration. This suggests that the government of Pakistan would carry out the reforms demanded by the IMF, contributing to the 3.2% GDP growth expected in 2024–2025.

The policy rate has stabilized above projections, while the research predicted it may reach 16 percent this fiscal year and 14 percent the following year.

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