Stocks fell by 299.68 points on Tuesday, with analysts attributing it to a decline in global equities and Pakistan Petroleum Limited’s (PPL) weak earnings and payout.

The benchmark KSE-100 index closed at 41,220.91 points, down 0.72 per cent.

The market saw an intraday low of 41,078.71 points around 3:05pm.

Head of Research at Intermarket Securities, Raza Jafri, said PPL’s weak fourth-quarter earnings and payout dragged the index, particularly the oil exploration sector, down.

Volumes were on the thinner side as investor interest remains low, he added.

In a PSX filing, the company said its board of directors had recommended a cash dividend of 50 paise (5pc) per share on ordinary and convertible preference shares for the final quarter of fiscal year 2022 (4QFY22).

The company posted profit after tax of Rs1,217 million for 4QFY22, which translates into earnings per share of Rs0.45, down a massive 91 per cent compared to the same quarter last year.

Separately, Arif Habib Corporation’s Director Ahsan Mehanti said stock markets globally were plunging after the last rate hike by the United States Federal Reserve, with PSX also following that trend.

“Foreign selling can also be seen. Local investors have adopted a cautious approach because of the increase in the dollar’s rate and the situation caused by the floods.”

Mehanti warned that the KSE-100 could fall below the 40,000-point mark if financial institutions did not lend support.

The stock market remained under pressure today primarily because of the rupee’s decline and political uncertainty, First National Equities CEO Ali Malik said.

He added that PPL’s announcement of lower-than-expected dividends had also contributed to the pressure.

Malik also said that investors had adopted a wait-and-see approach. He added, however, that the market was unlikely to see major changes till the new army chief’s appointment.

Central banks worldwide are using aggressive interest rate hikes to lasso galloping inflation, at the risk of pulling down the global economy with it.

Read: Rate hikes — a double-edged sword for central banks

The US Federal Reserve and its counterparts in Europe and most emerging economies have been raising rates this year as consumer prices have soared to decades-high levels.

While higher rates aim to tame runaway inflation by slowing economic activity, they can cause a recession if borrowing costs become too steep for businesses and individuals.

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