Pakistan market remains under Brexit hype

To begin with it may be true that the local equity market remained under pressure due to Brexit, which was an overreaction. The decision by the public is yet to be approved by the British parliament. It will be a long drawn process but mean time the business will continue ‘as usual’.

The panic trickling down to Pakistan Stock Exchange plunged the benchmark PSX-100 index to 37,390 levels, down 3.58%WoW, after losing 1,412 points intraday. Regional markets also witnessed similar trend while crude oil tumbled, along with other commodities on a stronger dollar.

Barring Friday, lack of triggers kept market activity dull during the week where average daily volumes declined by more than 15%WoW to 155.7 million shares. Foreign participation remained under pressure, with foreigners selling equities worth US$20.6 million during the week against a net buy of US$19.58 million last week.

Key news flow impacting the market included: 1) National Assembly finalizing amendment in 2016 Finance Bill, 2) Current Account deficit for May’16 rising US$792 million as against a surplus of US$23 million a month ago, 3) the World Bank approving US$1.02 billion in developmental loans for Pakistan under the CGDPF and Sindh Resilience Project, while ADB approved US$100 million loan for the construction of Shorkot‐Khanewal section of the M4 motorway, 4) yields slipping by 3‐ 5bps in the latest Market Treasury Bills auction with the GoP raising Rs138 billion and 5) news source indicating rise in petroleum prices in the range of Rs1.75‐Rs4.5/ltr for July’16. Leaders at the bourse were: MTL, FATIMA, HMB, FCCL and AGTL; while laggards included: BAFL, MCB, AICL, NML and NCL. Volumes leaders were: KEL, DCL, PAEL and DFML.

Bouts of volatility are likely to be witnessed in the week ahead as investors react to uncertainty in the global outlook following ‘Brexit’. Negative implication for the bourse can also emanate from any extended downside in commodities, particularly crude oil. With volatility in major currencies, Autos on (JPY) and Textiles (on EUR and GBP) could see further downside.

After recording surplus for three consecutive months, current account balance returned to the red zone in May’16 recording a deficit of US$792 million expanding, consequently, 11MFY16 current account deficit to US$2.48 billion, up 1.2%YoY higher than the balance in 11MFY15, primarily reflecting a worsening trade deficit. The trade data depicts 22.6%YoY widening in the trade deficit in May’16 as rising imports (up 7.6%YoY) added to the burden of declining exports (down 6%YoY). With similar trends to continue analysts expect current account deficit to further deteriorate. Resulting pressures on current account and hefty debt repayment in FY17 can likely have spillover effects on the Pak rupee exchange parity. However, rising foreign exchange reserves and improving foreign investment outlook should keep erosion in rupee value limited.


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