On Wednesday, the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) experienced a decline, which analysts attributed to two factors: the delay in signing a staff-level agreement (SLA) with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for an economic bailout, and the anticipation of an interest rate increase.
At 10:49am, the KSE-100 index, which serves as a benchmark for the stock market, dropped by 1.07%, or 435.08 points, to reach 40,075.29 points. Salman Naqvi, the Head of Research at Aba Ali Habib Securities, stated that the stock market had closed lower the day before and that multiple factors had contributed to the drop.
These factors included the delayed signing of the SLA with the IMF, an anticipated 2% policy rate increase, and political uncertainty. Naqvi pointed out that the main reason for the decline was the non-signing of the staff-level agreement, which was causing uncertainty about the country’s financial future, and the expected increase in policy rates would also negatively impact the market.
Naqvi also pointed out that rating agency Moody’s on Tuesday cut Pakistan’s sovereign credit rating by two more notches to ‘Caa3’ — the lowest in three decades, saying the country’s increasingly fragile liquidity “significantly raises default risks”. Besides this, political circumstances were “very tense” and courts were set to announce judgments in a number of cases that would also affect the market, he said.
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