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PSX closes in red as index falls by over 900 points

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Analyst says market was down due to Mohammad Aurangzeb’s appointment as finance minister

Pakistani stockbrokers monitor share prices during a trading session at the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) in Karachi, Pakistan, 31 July 2023. — INP
Pakistani stockbrokers monitor share prices during a trading session at the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) in Karachi, Pakistan, 31 July 2023. — INP 
  • Market was down after announcement of federal cabinet. 
  • Benchmark KSE-100 loses 953.60 points or 1.45%.
  • Investors also sceptical about IMF talks scheduled this week.

KARACHI: Just a day after the cabinet was sworn in, bears on Tuesday gripped the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) as the benchmark index tumbled by over 950 points.

The benchmark KSE-100 index underwent selling pressure, dipping to a low of 64,801.70 points. It lost 953.60 points or 1.45%, compared to the yesterday’s close of 65,755.31 points.

The market initially plummeted by over 1,000 points during the intraday trading, however, it made minor recovery later in the day.

Speaking to Geo.tv, business journalist Afreen Mirza said that the market was down because of the announcement of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif-led cabinet, in which the “most important Q-block has been handed over to Aurangzeb”. 

“Investors are reacting to the news as rumours suggest that the government has assigned Aurangzeb the portfolio of the finance ministry, with the additional responsibility of the Revenue Division. This suggests that another minister will eventually take over this portfolio,” she added.

Mirza further said that the second reason behind the decline is that investors are sceptical about the International Monetary Fund (IMF) talks that are set to begin this week. 

A day earlier, the stock market closed slightly lower after hitting a high of over 66,100 points earlier in the session, as investors weighed the prospects of a new government and its economic policies. 

The KSE-100 shed 38.45 points or 0.06% to close at 65,755.31 points. 

“Stocks closed under pressure amid weak global equities and concerns for economic uncertainty,” said analyst Ahsan Mehanti at Arif Habib.

He said uncertainty over the monetary policy announcement on March 18 and concerns over the outcome of government negotiations for new IMF loans played a catalyst role in the negative close.

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