KARACHI: Bears dominated the trading floor of the Pakistan Stock Exchange on Wednesday owing to the negativity on the macroeconomic horizon.

Topline Securities said the expectation of an interest rate hike in the monetary policy announcement due on April 4 pushed the stock market’s benchmark index to an intraday low of 525 points.

The KSE-100 index opened on the higher side but sentiments soon became negative due to the delay in the signing of a staff-level agreement between the government and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), said Arif Habib Ltd.

Prevailing macroeconomic uncertainties led investors to stay cautious, which resulted in the index closing lower than its preceding close.

As a result, the KSE-100 index settled at 40,376.10 points, down 501.88 points or 1.23 per cent from the preceding session.

The overall trading volume increased 4pc to 148.5 million shares. The traded value went down 21.6pc to $13.8m on a day-on-day basis.

Stocks contributing significantly to the traded volume included Fauji Cement Ltd (17.5m shares), WorldCall Telecom Ltd (11m shares), Thatta Cement Ltd (9.2m shares), Fauji Foods Ltd (7.8m shares) and Ghani Global Holdings Ltd (5.9m shares).

Sectors contributing the most to the index performance were exploration and production (-73.3 points), cement (-72.6 points), technology and communication (-59.7 points), commercial banking (-53.9 points) and miscellaneous (-48.6 points).

Companies registering the biggest increases in their share prices in absolute terms were Sapphire Fibres Ltd (Rs66.61), Pakistan Tobacco Company Ltd (Rs50.05), Khyber Textile Mills Ltd (Rs19.31), Shield Corporation Ltd (Rs15.90) and Towellers Ltd (Rs14.55).

Companies that recorded the biggest declines in their share prices in absolute terms were Unilever Pakistan Foods Ltd (Rs331), Nestle Pakistan Ltd (Rs180.85), Pakistan Services Ltd (Rs95.90), Sapphire Textile Mills Ltd (Rs74.66) and Ismail Industries Ltd (Rs35.74).

Foreign investors were net buyers as they purchased shares worth $0.66m.

Published in Dawn, March 23rd, 2023

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