KARACHI: The stock market lost steam in the last trading session of the week as investors feared higher inflation following a sharp adjustment in the exchange rate.

Arif Habib Ltd said the index of representative shares opened on the lower side and traded in the same zone throughout the day. Trading remained sluggish in the first half owing to the changing rupee-dollar parity and political instability.

However, bears took charge in the second half as the benchmark plunged 440.97 points while investors chose to settle their positions in view of the rollover week. Otherwise, investors showed optimism about the upcoming visit of an International Monetary Fund team for the ninth review of the Extended Fund Facility.

As a result, the KSE-100 index settled at 40,450.53 points, down 396 points or 0.97 per cent from the preceding session.

The overall trading volume decreased 47.5pc to 191.3 million shares. The traded value went down 52.2pc to $27.1m on a day-on-day basis.

Stocks contributing significantly to the traded volume included Pakistan Refinery Ltd (14.2m shares), Cnergyico PK Ltd (13.1m shares), Fauji Foods Ltd (12.5m shares), WorldCall Telecom Ltd (9.9m shares) and K-Electric Ltd (9.6m shares).

Sectors contributing the most to the index performance were cement (-75.4 points), technology and communications (-75.3 points), fertiliser (-73.7 points), banking (-35.4 points) and autos (-30.9 points).

Companies registering the biggest increases in their share prices in absolute terms were Mari Petroleum Company Ltd (Rs12.29), Hafiz Ltd (Rs10.39), Gillette Pakistan Ltd (Rs9.30), Sunrays Textile Mills Ltd (Rs9.16) and ZIL Ltd (Rs8.79).

Companies that recorded the biggest declines in their share prices in absolute terms were Bhanero Textile Mills Ltd (Rs83.24), Siemens Pakistan Engineering Ltd (Rs49.71), Indus Motor Company Ltd (Rs47.17), Nestle Pakistan Ltd (Rs44.99) and JDW Sugar Mills Ltd (Rs28.30).

Foreign investors were net buyers as they purchased shares worth $0.21m.

Published in Dawn, January 28th, 2023

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