KARACHI: Share prices bounced within a short range on Friday as investors kept waiting for the confirmation of a staff-level agreement between the government and the International Monetary Fund for the $7 billion loan’s revival.

Arif Habib Ltd said investors chose to book profits in the post-Friday prayer session, which resulted in the representative index of top 100 shares hitting an intraday low of 423.28 points.

The main reasons for the slide in share prices were rising political tension and uncertainty on the economic front. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar’s statement on the IMF’s alleged demand for abandoning the long-range nuclear missile programme also hurt investors’ sentiments.

As a result, the KSE-100 index settled at 41,329.95 points, down 364.14 points or 0.87 per cent from the preceding session.

The overall trading volume decreased 26.5pc to 172.6 million shares. The traded value went down 7.7pc to $28.47m on a day-on-day basis.

Stocks contributing significantly to the traded volume included Habib Bank Ltd (9.1m shares), Hascol Petroleum Ltd (9.1m shares), Pakistan International Bulk Terminal Ltd (8.3m shares), WorldCall Telecom Ltd (7.2m shares) and Fauji Foods Ltd (6.7m shares).

Sectors contributing negatively to the index performance were technology and communication (103.7 points), fertiliser (71.2 points), commercial banking (50.1 points), miscellaneous (-47.9 points) and exploration and production (-36.9 points).

Companies registering the biggest increases in their share prices in absolute terms were Ismail Industries Ltd (Rs30.21), JDW Sugar Mills Ltd (Rs26.70), Khyber Tobacco Company Ltd (Rs15.54), Siemens Pakistan Engineering Ltd (Rs15) and Towellers Ltd (Rs10.12).

Companies that recorded the biggest declines in their share prices in absolute terms were Rafhan Maize Products Company Ltd (Rs200), Pakistan Services Ltd (Rs91.47), Systems Ltd (Rs18.38), Gatron Industries Ltd (Rs14.90) and Mari Petroleum Company Ltd (Rs11.54).

Foreign investors were net sellers as they offloaded shares worth $4.44m.

Published in Dawn, March 18th, 2023

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