KARACHI: Positivity returned to the Pakistan Stock Exchange on Wednesday, thanks to the renewed expectation about the revival of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan programme.

Arif Habib Ltd said the benchmark of representative shares hit an intraday high of 283.97 points while investors looked forward to the government reaching a staff-level agreement with the IMF for the $7bn loan programme.

Investors’ involvement remained passive owing to the prevailing political uncertainty, it said, noting that decent volumes were witnessed across the board.

As a result, the KSE-100 index settled at 41,358.93 points, up 24.24 points or 0.06 per cent from the preceding session.

The overall trading volume increased 1.7pc to 162.9 million shares. The traded value went up 18.1pc to $22.7m on a day-on-day basis.

Stocks contributing significantly to the traded volume included Hascol Petroleum Ltd (14.4m shares), Telecard Ltd (7.9m shares), WorldCall Telecom Ltd (7.8m shares), the Hub Power Company Ltd (7.5m shares) and Maple Leaf Cement Factory Ltd (7.3m shares).

Sectors contributing the most to the index performance were power generation and distribution (43.8 points), commercial banking (41.5 points), exploration and production (22.8 points), food and personal care products (9.2 points) and engineering (9.2 points).

Companies registering the biggest increases in their share prices in absolute terms were Nestle Pakistan Ltd (Rs230), Rafhan Maize Products Company Ltd (Rs204), Sapphire Textile Mills Ltd (Rs69.99), Bata Pakistan Ltd (Rs37) and Blessed Textiles Ltd (Rs26.75).

Companies that recorded the biggest declines in their share prices in absolute terms were Unilever Pakistan Foods Ltd (Rs1,284.03), Pakistan Services Ltd (Rs164.43), Sapphire Fibres Ltd (Rs88.85), Hinopak Motors Ltd (Rs9.16) and Ellcot Spinning Mills Ltd (Rs8.45).

Foreign investors were net sellers as they offloaded shares worth $1.07m.

“Investors are advised to accumulate value stocks on dips,” said JS Global.

Published in Dawn, March 9th, 2023

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