KARACHI: Stock pric­es slightly went up as trading began on Monday before bears took over the exchange on the negative news flow.

Arif Habib Ltd said the benchmark of representative shares of the Pakistan Stock Exchange lost steam because of continuous economic and political uncertainties.

Negative triggers plun­ged the index to an intra-day low of 420.71 points. Investors chose to be cautious while trading, which led to the drying up of volumes on the exchange’s mainboard. Meanwhile, sideboard scrips dominated the volume board.

JS Global said rising political noise and a lack of progress on the loan programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) induced selling pressure.

As a result, the KSE-100 index settled at 40,918.45 points, down 411.50 points or one per cent from the preceding session.

The overall trading volume increased 13.3pc to 195.5 million shares. The traded value went down 38.1pc to $17.6m on a day-on-day basis.

Stocks contributing significantly to the traded volume included Unity Foods Ltd (25m shares), WorldCall Telecom Ltd (16.6m shares), Fauji Foods Ltd (15.1m shares), Maple Leaf Cement Factory Ltd (9.6m shares) and Pakistan Inter­national Bulk Terminal Ltd (6.6m shares).

Sectors contributing the most to the index performance were exploration and production (-127.7 poin­ts), fertiliser (-75.4 points), cement (-59.8 points), miscellaneous (-59 points) and commercial banking (-44.5 points).

Companies registering the biggest increases in their share prices in absolute terms were Unilever Pakistan Foods Ltd (Rs56), Premium Textile Mills Ltd (Rs31.28), Ismail Industries Ltd (Rs25.08), Khyber Textile Mills Ltd (Rs16.71) and Service Industries Ltd (Rs15.72).

Companies that recorded the biggest declines in their share prices in absolute terms were Pakistan Services Ltd (Rs112), Sapphire Textile Mills Ltd (Rs85.47), Sapphire Fibres Ltd (Rs77.67), Siem­ens Pakistan Engi­neering Ltd (Rs19.99) and Archroma Pakistan Ltd (Rs9.50).

Foreign investors were net sellers as they offloaded shares worth $0.49m.

Published in Dawn, March 21st, 2023

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