KARACHI: Stock prices inched up in a sluggish session on Wednesday amid investors’ concerns about the upcoming monetary policy announcement and the depreciation of the local currency against the dollar, said Arif Habib Ltd.

Most analysts expect the central bank’s monetary policy committee to increase the benchmark interest rate by 100-150 basis points from 13.75 per cent in view of rising inflation, which clocked in at 21.3pc in June. As for the currency market, the rupee depreciated 0.5pc on Wednesday to 207.99 in the interbank market.

“Going forward, investors’ sentiments will largely be driven by positive news on the International Mone­tary Fund (IMF) front. We recommend investors to adopt a buy-on-dip strategy,” said JS Global.

As a result, the KSE-100 index settled at 41,159.79 points, up 57.22 points or 0.14pc from a day ago.

The trading volume increased 27.8pc to 98.2 million shares while the traded value went up 12.2pc to $12.9m on a day-on-day basis.

Stocks contributing significantly to the traded volume included Agritech Ltd (25m shares), Unity Foods Ltd (5.39m shares), Azgard Nine Ltd (3.6m shares), Lotte Chemical Pakistan Ltd (3.21m shares) and Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Ltd (2.76m shares).

Sectors that contributed the highest number of points to the benchmark index included commercial banking (35.89 points), cement (15.45 points), technology and communication (13.93 points), power generation and distribution (11.72 points) and oil and gas marketing (6.05 points).

Shares contributing most positively to the index included Habib Bank Ltd (19 points), the Hub Power Company Ltd (9.3 points), TRG Pakistan Ltd (8.75 points), Fauji Fertiliser Com­­pany Ltd (7.39 points) and United Bank Ltd (5.91 points). Stocks that contributed most negatively to the index included Engro Cor­po­ration Ltd (11 points), Pakistan Oilfields Ltd (10.61 points), Colgate-Palmolive Pakistan Ltd (10.07 points), Engro Polymer and Chemicals Ltd (9.28 points) and AGP Ltd (4.86 points).

Foreign investors were net buyers as they purchased shares worth $0.78m.

Published in Dawn, July 7th, 2022

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