KARACHI: Stock trading in the outgoing week started on an optimistic note as investors anticipated positive developments on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme.

However, noise on the political front disturbed the momentum. A five per cent growth was witnessed in workers’ remittances in February. The rupee depreciated 0.93pc against the dollar on a weekly basis and closed at 281.71.

Moreover, reserves of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) climbed up by $18 million to $4.3 billion. In addition, the government raised last Wednesday Rs26.4bn through Pakistan Investment Bonds (PIBs) against a target of Rs100bn.

As a result, the market closed at 41,330 points after losing 464 points or 1.11pc on a weekly basis.

Sector-wise, negative contributions came from miscellaneous (197 points), technology (155 points), fertiliser (78 points), banks (43 points) and food and personal care (32 points).

According to AKD Securities, developments on the IMF front will determine the direction of the stock market. High inflation may lead to another hike in the interest rate in the upcoming meeting of the central bank’s Monetary Policy Committee on April 4.

“We continue to advocate scrips that have dollar-denominated revenue streams to hedge against the currency risk, which include the technology and exploration and production sectors,” it said.

Published in Dawn, March 19th, 2023

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