KARACHI: Trading on the stock market remai­ned dull for the most part in the outgoing week owing to a rising number of Covid-19 cases as well as higher global commodity prices, according to Arif Habib Ltd.

However, the investors’ sentiments turned positive on the last day of trading as the government revised GDP growth rate for 2020-21 from 3.94 per cent to 5.4pc. Foreign direct investment increa­sed 20pc in the first half of the current fiscal year to $1.05 billion against $880 million a year ago. Moreover, the exchange rate closed below Rs176 for the first time in over 45 days at the beginning of the outgoing week, but inched up later to close at Rs176.24.

As a result, the stock market closed at 45,018 points on Friday, down 745 points or 1.63pc from a week ago.

Sector-wise, negative contributions came from technology and communication (241 points), commercial banking (96 points), cement (69 points), refinery (65 points) and fertiliser (63 points).

Sectors that contributed positively to the index were oil and gas exploration (36 points), power generation and distribution (seven points) and real estate investment trusts (six points).

Scrip-wise, negative contributors were TRG Pakistan Ltd (239 points), Cnergyico PK Ltd (31 points), MCB Bank Ltd (23 points), Dawood Her­cules Corporation Ltd (22 points) and Pakistan State Oil Company (21 points). Negative contributors were Kot Addu Power Company Ltd (30 points), Mari Petroleum Company (24 points) and Bank AL Habib Ltd (23 points).

Foreigners remained net sellers in the outgoing week as their net sales clocked in at $2.09m versus a net buy of $0.53m in the preceding week.

Major selling was witnessed in oil marketing ($1.4m) and technology and communication (1m). On the local front, buying was reported by individuals ($12.4m) and banks ($5.9m). The average traded volume clocked in at 201m shares, down 43pc from a week ago. The average traded value settled at $42m, down 17pc on a week-on-week basis.

The mood on the bourse will partly be determined by the policy rate announcement that the central bank will make on Monday. AKD Securities expects the status quo to prevail at 9.75pc, although it doesn’t rule out any negative surprise given a sharp increase in oil prices that can keep the market volatile.

“We see the International Monetary Fund programme resum­ption setting the tone for the market in the near term... accumulation is advised on dips as the government seems determined to meet all prior actions,” it said.

Published in Dawn, January 23rd, 2022

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