Pakistan stock market in past week retained an overall sluggish momentum, closing down 1.2 percent Week-on-Week (WoW) at 40,016 points level. This was despite highly positive news emerging over last weekend where Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MBS) arrived in Pakistan with a business delegation and announced investments in key sectors of the economy, with total investments of US$21 billion (and the number could grow further in the future), said an equity analyst Ahmed Lakhani These investments include a US$10 billion oil refinery, investments in renewable energy, petrochemicals, food processing and agriculture to name a few. All of the positivity that could have emanated from this news was completely wiped off due to escalating tensions with India. During the week, statements from the other side of the border to isolate Pakistan diplomatically, moves such as imposition of 200 percent customs duty on Pakistani exports into India and other punitive measures caused market participants to proceed with caution and had an overbearing impact on performance. Corporate results that were generally in line with or higher than expectations in some cases did little to improve the trend. Exacerbating the issue was the coincidence of the week with futures’ rollover, which also negatively affected market performance. At the same time, there might have been a collective sigh of relief for policymakers as the current account deficit during the month of January declined by 48 percent MoM / 54 percent YoY on the back of a sharp reduction in trade deficit, whereas some support for overall balance of payments was also visible via loans from friendly countries. Nevertheless, volumes remained sluggish during the week, ending down 22 percent WoW. Foreign investors remained net buyers of US$3.5 million, which was a decline of 71 percent WoW from US$12.1 million last week. Other noteworthy news during the week included: Government plans to fix indicative price of Cotton, NEPRA raised power tariff by Rs1.8/unit, Fiscal deficit crosses 2.7% of GDP for first half FY19, and textile exports increase by 8.2 percent YoY in January-2019. Published in Daily Times, February 24th 2019.