PSX gain slightly as budget anxiety restricts rally


KARACHI The stock market endured a lacklustre session and rose slightly on Tuesday because of uncertainty ahead of announcement of the federal budget 2019-20 and following release of Economic Survey, which painted a gloomy picture of the economy. Investors adopted a wait and see approach before clarity emerged regarding the federal budget. Stocks showed signs of recovery amid higher trading in a pre-budget rally after reports of Rs7.02-trillion federal budget outlay in fiscal year 2019-20. Cement, banking and fertiliser sectors outperformed on expectations of higher development budget. Earlier, the market opened under pressure and recorded a decline of 300 points after which recovery emerged in anticipation of creation of the State Enterprise Fund, stated Arif Habib Limited in a report. However, the anxiety over the FY20 budget, the political noise after the arrest of ex-president Asif Ali Zardari and opposition leader Hamza Shehbaz kept investors on their toes. The arrest of MQM’s founder Altaf Hussain in London added to the anxiety and the index remained under selling pressure by the session’s end. Major volumes were seen in the cement sector (18.7 million) followed by power sector (11.8 million) and technology sector (10.5 million), it added. Overall, trading volumes increased to 116.9 million shares compared with Monday’s tally of 91.7 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs4.3 billion. Shares of 314 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 177 stocks closed higher, 117 declined and 20 remained unchanged.

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