KARACHI: The stock market stayed under pressure on Monday owing to investors’ concerns over mounting inflation and an expected hike in the benchmark interest rate in the upcoming monetary policy, said Arif Habib Ltd.

Consumer inflation hit a multi-year high of 21.3 per cent in June on a year-on-year basis, thanks to a rapid increase in retail fuel prices and electricity rates. This has led to expectations about a rise in the interest rate, whi­ch currently stands at 13.75pc.

The benchmark opened in the green zone, but soon slipped into the negative territory on profit-taking.

JS Global said investors’ sentiments will now be driven by positive news from the International Monetary Fund front. “We recommend investors to adopt a buy-on-dip strategy in banking and exploration and production sectors,” it added.

The KSE-100 index settled at 41,348.19 points, down 282.16 points or 0.68pc from a day ago.

The trading volume decre­ased 43.8pc to 86.6 million shares while the traded value went down 24.4pc to $14.9m on a day-on-day basis.

Stocks contributing significantly to the traded volume included Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Ltd (12.47m shares), Agritech Ltd (8.1m shares), Pakistan Refinery Ltd (4.38m shares), Maple Leaf Cement Factory Ltd (3.28m shares) and WorldCall Telecom Ltd (3m shares).

Sectors that took away the highest number of points from the benchmark index included fertiliser (72.61 points), cement (60.82 poi­n­ts), oil and gas exploration (33.2 points), automobile assembling (18.9 points) and pharmaceutical (12.9 points).

Shares contributing most negatively to the index inclu­ded Fauji Fertiliser Comp­any Ltd (36.97 points), Lucky Ce­m­ent Ltd (35.22 points), United Bank Ltd (18.48 points), Bank AL Habib Ltd (16.18 points) and Engro Corp­o­ration Ltd (15.78 points).

Stocks that contributed most positively to the index included Habib Bank Ltd (18.08 points), Meezan Bank Ltd (11.05 points), Sui Nort­hern Gas Pipelines Ltd (6.68 points), Faysal Bank Ltd (4.87 points) and Lotte Chem­ical Pakistan Ltd (four points).

Foreign investors were net buyers as they purchased shares worth $0.08m.

Published in Dawn, July 5th, 2022

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