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PSX nosedives by over 800 points amid political uncertainty

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The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) on Tuesday plunged by over 800 points during intra-day trade amid uncertainty on the political front.

At 11:59am, the benchmark KSE-100 Index dropped by 742 points, or 1.81%, to settle at 40,228 points.

KSE-100 Index at 11:59am. — Screengrab/PSX

However, a few minutes later the drop crossed the 800 mark. The market was hovering at 40,164 points down by 1.97%.

KSE-100 Index at 12:34pm. — Screengrab/PSX
KSE-100 Index at 12:34pm. — Screengrab/PSX

Speaking to Geo.tv, AA Commodities Director Adnan Agar said the stock market is reacting to all “bad political news”.

“Players are looking for political stability before assuming fresh positions in the market,” he said, adding that any positive news on political front or positive development regarding IMF programme will reinstate investors confidence.

Pakistan and the global lender have been holding discussion with Islamabad on the ninth review “productive”. However, differences between both the sides still persist making consensus harder to strike on a staff-level agreement for completion of the 9th review under $7 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF).

Agar further highlighted that market players are also concerned about the future of the Shehbaz Sharif-led coalition government while taking into account the current political developments.

The federal government has been thrown off guard after Imran Khan announced that he will be dissolving the Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assemblies this week.

“Moreover, constant depreciation of rupee against the US dollar is adding fuel to the downtrend,” he said, mentioning that the investors are unhappy with how Finance Minister Ishaq Dar is handling the rupee-dollar parity.

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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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