Stocks lose another 153 points amid thin trading

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Stocks lost 153.14 points (0.46 per cent) to close at 32,886.06 on Monday.

Investors seemed hesitant to take positions prior to the monetary policy and the budget. Turnover declined 33pc to 118 million shares of Rs5.3 billion value, from 175m shares worth Rs7.8bn transacted last Friday.

Sales desk at Topline Securities noted that the Monday’s volume was the lowest since March 25, 2015 while the value was lowest since October 3, 2014.

Foreign investors were net sellers of equity worth $0.19m.

Analyst Ahsan Mehanti at Arif Habib Corp stated that the stocks closed bearish amid thin activity on post earnings season profit-taking. Pre-budget uncertainty, souring Pak-India relations after Karachi security unrest and uncertainty over SBP policy rate stance played catalyst role in bearish activity.

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Analyst Ahmed Saeed Khan at JS Global stated that liquidity was expected to return as a government-backed mutual fund was supposed to start buying on Monday. However, expectations remained unfulfilled as such buying did not transpire and institutions preferred to stay sidelined.

Oil sector remained depressed with the exception of NRL up 1.7pc, as international crude traded below $60 per barrel forcing main stocks to close in the red with PSO, HASCOL, ATRL and PPL closing lower by 1.1pc, 0.6pc, 1.2pc and 0.7pc respectively.

Cements and Fertilisers remained depressed ignoring several positive triggers ahead of the monetary policy.

Major news flow included Finance Minister Ishaq Dar’s statement that the government would present the federal budget FY16 on June 5. The government also called an emergency session of the National Assembly to give legal cover to the Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC). Analysts said that the controversial GIDC bill would give the government access to Rs. 100 bn lying under this head.