KARACHI: Trading on the stock market commenced on a positive note in the outgoing week as investors expected the signing of a staff-level agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Arif Habib Ltd said the rollover of a loan from a Chinese bank further fuelled the momentum in stock prices. Investors became upbeat when Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said the government would reach the staff-level agreement with the Washington-based lender for the ninth tranche of the Extended Fund Facility in the next few days.

Furthermore, reserves of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) increased by $487 million to $4.3 billion after the disbursement of a commercial loan from China.

Gross inflows to Roshan Digital Accounts (RDAs) witnessed a growth rate of 14 per cent on a month-on-month basis in February. The overall cumulative gross flows to RDAs amounted to $5.8bn. However, the rupee depreciated against the dollar by 2.85 or 1pc on a weekly basis and closed at 280.77.

Meanwhile, remittances witnessed a decline of 9pc on a yearly basis to $2bn in February. Another important development was related to textile exports, which plummeted in February by 28pc on an annual basis and 9pc on a monthly basis.

Thus, the benchmark index of the stock market closed at 41,794 points after gaining 457 points or 1.1pc from a week ago.

Sector-wise, positive contributions came from cement (200 points), technology (93 points), power (92 points), banks (89 points) and engineering (37 points).

Sectors that contributed negatively were miscellaneous (161 points), insurance (14 points) and chemical (11 points).

Scrip-wise, positive contributors were the Hub Power Company Ltd (89 points), Habib Bank Ltd (72 points), Lucky Cement Ltd (50 points), Systems Ltd (48 points) and Pakistan Petroleum Ltd (36 points).

Published in Dawn, March 12th, 2023

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