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Stocks close in green amid thin trade



  • Stock market traded between hope and despair.
  • KSE-100 index gains 30.95 points to close at 42,761.19.
  • Shares of 334 companies were traded during the session.

KARACHI: Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) saw lacklustre activity on Monday but the benchmark KSE-100 index, after oscillating in a narrow band, managed to close in the green zone.

Sceptical investors adopted a cautious approach amid the continuous depreciation of the Pakistani rupee against the US dollar, mainly owing to the growing risk of defaulting and the absence of a timeframe regarding incoming financing from Saudi Arabia and China, which kept the mainboard stocks under pressure.

On the contrary, investor confidence received a boost on news of Pakistan’s current account deficit data which yawned $204 million in October 2022 as compared to September’s $363 million.

Owing to the mixed sentiments, the benchmark KSE-100 index moved in a narrow range of an intra-day high and low of 42,853.94 and 42,664.53 points, respectively to finally settle with decent gains.

The market, after opening on a positive note, witnessed fluctuations since the beginning of the session. The bourse traded between hope and despair, which eventually let loose the bulls who dragged the bourse into the green.

In initial trading, the index touched an intra-day high of 42,853.94 points, but it soon came down and remained in the red till midday. However, a buying spree in the final hour propelled the index into positive territory.

The benchmark KSE-100 share index gained 30.95 points or 0.07% to close at 42,761.19 points.

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

Arif Habib Limited in its post-session commentary noted that a range-bound session was witnessed at the PSX today.

The KSE-100 index opened on a positive note but a lack of investors’ confidence dragged the index to trade in a narrow range. Mainboard volumes remained dry although decent volumes were observed in the third-tier stocks.

Sectors contributing to the performance included technology and communication (+97 points), commercial banks (+17 points), miscellaneous (+9.7 points), transport (+6.4 points), and oil and gas marketing companies (+6 points).

Shares of 334 companies were traded during the session. At the close of trading, 150 scrips closed in the green, 156 in the red, and 28 remained unchanged.

Overall trading volumes declined to 132.94 million shares compared with Friday’s tally of 189.28 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs4.57 billion.

Worldcall Telecom was the volume leader with 14.12 million shares traded, losing Rs0.04 to close at Rs1.41. It was followed by TRG Pakistan with 10.23 million shares traded, gaining Rs5.02 to close at Rs146.57 and Unity Foods with 17.13 million shares gaining Rs0.41 to close at Rs17.13.

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Petrol, diesel prices likely to go down from April 1




  • Petrol rate likely to reduce by Rs4-5 per litre.
  • Rs15-20 per litre reduction expected in diesel price.
  • Sources hint at possibility of prices remaining unchanged.

Following a reduction in international crude oil prices, the rates of petroleum products in Pakistan are expected to decline from April 1, Geo News reported Wednesday.

According to estimates of oil marketing companies (OMCs), the price of diesel is likely to decline by Rs15-20 per litre while the price of petrol is expected to go down by Rs4-5 per litre.

However, well-placed sources in the industry said that there is a possibility that the Finance Division keeps the price unchanged.

In its last fortnight bulletin, the federal government raised the price of petrol to Rs272 per litre.

The Finance Division attributed the price hike to the depreciation of the Pakistani rupee against the US dollar and an increase in the prices registered by Platts Singapore.

The price of MS (petrol) was increased by Rs5 per litre and the price of hi-speed diesel was increased by Rs13 per litre.

The increase in the price of kerosene oil was kept at Rs2.56 by reducing the government’s dues on it. Similarly, the price of light diesel oil was kept constant by adjusting the government dues as well.

The new prices came into effect on March 16 and will remain in place till March 31.

The Finance Division will announce the news rates on March 31 which will remain in place for the next 15 days. 

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Banks to observe extended working hours




At the request of the Federal Board of Revenue, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Wednesday directed all branches of banks to observe extended banking hours in order to facilitate the taxpayers in payment of government duties/taxes.

The central bank, in a statement issued in this regard, said that the direction is for all branches of banks including the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) and field offices of SBP Banking Services Corporation (SBP-BSC).

“[…] all branches of banks including National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) and field offices of SBP Banking Services Corporation (SBP-BSC) shall observe extended banking hours until 04:00 P.M. and 06:00 P.M. on 30th and 31st March 2023 respectively for collection of government taxes through ADC’s Over-the-Counter (OTC) facility,” the statement read.

It mentioned that National Institutional Facilitation Technologies (NIFT) shall arrange a special clearing at 6pm on March 31 (Friday) for the same-day clearing of payment instruments deposited at NBP’s authorised branches for customs collections.

“For this purpose, all banks shall arrange to keep their clearing-related branches open till such time that is necessary to facilitate the special clearing by NIFT on March 31, 2023 (Friday),” it read.

It should be noted that during Ramadan, banks observe reduced hours. Currently, the timings are:

Public dealing timings:

  • Monday to Thursday — 9am to 2pm (without break)
  • Friday — 8:30am to 1pm (without break)

Office timings:

  • Monday to Thursday — 9am to 3:30pm (with prayer break from 2pm to 2:30pm)
  • Friday — 8:30am to 1pm (without break)

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PM Shehbaz takes notice of gas loadshedding during sehr, iftar




  • PM Shehbaz says he has already taken notice of the matter.
  • Premier summons a meeting to discuss issue of gas loadshedding.
  • “We will leave no stone unturned to address this issue,” PM says.

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday assured the members of the National Assembly that his government would address the issue of gas loadshedding during sehr and iftar as inflation-weary people have been registering complaints.

The prime minister, responding to a point of order raised by MNA Syed Agha Rafiullah, told the house that he had already taken notice of the matter.

PM Shehbaz shared that he had already summoned a meeting to be held later in the day, to discuss the issue of gas loadshedding.

“We will leave no stone unturned to address this issue,” the prime minister assured the house.

Earlier, a parliamentarian from Karachi’s Malir area drew the house’s attention to the problem of gas loadshedding being faced by the people, particularly those of Karachi, during sehr and iftar.

He said though the prime minister had already taken notice of the situation, the Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) needed to be directed to resolve the issue and provide uninterrupted supply during sehr and iftar.

Last week, the SSGC said gas would be supplied to domestic consumers during the holy month of Ramadan, but for limited hours — a move that irked consumers who complained of not getting enough of this essential fuel during mealtimes.

The utility had said that the gas pressure would be low from 8am to 2:30pm as it was facing a shortfall of 250 million mmbtu.

According to the SSGC helpline, for iftar, gas will be supplied to consumers in Karachi from 2:30pm to 7pm, while for sehr it will be available from 2:30am to 5am.

The gas utility added that consumers would face complete suspension or low pressure during the rest of the hours. 

However, the people have been complaining that gas remained suspended during sehr and iftar which forced them to purchase meals from hotels and restaurants which burdened their pockets.

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