KARACHI: Share prices bounced within a small range throughout the session after trading began on the lower side on Tuesday.

Arif Habib Ltd said investors preferred to stay cautious owing to ongoing political and economic worries. Their participation remained dull as they waited for some clarity on the revival of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan programme. Volumes on the mainboard of the exchange dried up while third-tier stocks continued their dominance.

According to analyst Ahsan Mehanti, dismal data on foreign direct investment showing a 40 per cent fall for July-February on a year-on-year basis also dampened the investors’ mood.

As a result, the KSE-100 index settled at 40,877.98 points, down 40.47 points or 0.1 per cent from the preceding session.

The overall trading volume decreased 26.9pc to 142.8 million shares. The traded value went down 16.5pc to $14.7m on a day-on-day basis.

Stocks contributing significantly to the traded volume included WorldCall Telecom Ltd (6m shares), Cnergyico PK Ltd (4.8m shares), Unity Foods Ltd (4.7m shares), Pak Elektron Ltd (4.5m shares) and Hascol Petroleum Ltd (4.4m shares).

Sectors contributing negatively to the index performance were miscellaneous (55 points), commercial banking (27.4 points), cement (18.6 points), paper and board (15.6 points) and tobacco (7.7 points).

Companies registering the biggest increases in their share prices in absolute terms were Rafhan Maize Products Company Ltd (Rs200), Nestle Pakistan Ltd (Rs66), Ismail Industries Ltd (Rs29.55), Khyber Textile Mills Ltd (Rs17.96) and JS Global Capital Ltd (Rs14).

Companies that recorded the biggest declines in their share prices in absolute terms were Pakistan Services Ltd (Rs104.10), Sapphire Fibres Ltd (Rs71.70), Pakistan Tobacco Company Ltd (Rs52.45), Packages Ltd (Rs20.49) and Colgate-Palmolive Pakistan Ltd (Rs10.57).

Foreign investors were net sellers as they offloaded shares worth $0.13m.

Published in Dawn, March 22nd, 2023

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