KARACHI: Bulls dominated the trading floor of the Pakistan Stock Exchange on Friday as investors expected the government to reach a staff-level agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a $7 billion loan soon.

Arif Habib Ltd said the index of representative shares maintained its bullish momentum as the rupee also gained strength against the dollar.

According to Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, the country was “very close” to signing the staff-level agreement with the Washington-based lender, which would also unlock dollar inflows from other bi- and multilateral sources.

The positive triggers gave investors a boost in confidence, which manifested in substantial volumes across the board. In particular, third-tier stocks led the volume board, it added.

As a result, the KSE-100 index settled at 41,793.87 points, up 208.33 points or 0.5 per cent from the preceding session.

The overall trading volume increased 19.1pc to 272.8 million shares. The traded value went down 8.4pc to $24.1m on a day-on-day basis.

Stocks contributing significantly to the traded volume included Fauji Foods Ltd (24.3m shares), Telecard Ltd (23.4m shares), WorldCall Telecom Ltd (19m shares), TPL Properties Ltd (14.6m shares) and Ghani Global Holdings Ltd (10.6m shares).

Sectors contributing the most to the index performance were commercial banking (70.8 points), fertiliser (36 points), technology and communication (35.3 points), investment banking (16.8 points) and textile composite (14.7 points).

Companies registering the biggest increases in their share prices in absolute terms were Rafhan Maize Products Company Ltd (Rs534), Bata Pakistan Ltd (Rs48), Pakis­tan Tobacco Company Ltd (Rs42.80), Khyber Tobacco Company Ltd (Rs19.91) and Indus Motor Company Ltd (Rs19.55).

Companies that recor­ded the biggest declines in their share prices in absolute terms were Unilever Pakistan Foods Ltd (Rs1,317.55), Ismail Indu­stries Ltd (Rs18.23), Prem­ium Textile Mills Ltd (Rs11.24), Lucky Core Industries Ltd (Rs7.37) and Blessed Textiles Ltd (Rs5).

Foreign investors were net buyers as they purchased shares worth $0.56m.

Published in Dawn, March 11th, 2023

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