KARACHI: Investors sold stocks on Wednesday to book profits, leading the representative index of the share market to close on the lower side.

Topline Securities said buying interest was visible in selected blue-chip sto­c­ks during the early trading hours. But the news of the arrest warrant for PTI chairman Imran Khan dented the momentum. The news flow compelled the stock market to shed its early gains and close the day on a negative note.

According to Arif Habib Ltd, the index bounced wit­hin a short range as investors waited for the Intern­ational Monetary Fund to release the overdue tranche under the $7 billion loan programme.

As a result, the KSE-100 index settled at 39,879.89 points, down 202.48 points or 0.51 per cent from the preceding session.

The overall trading volume increased 24.7pc to 108.8 million shares. The traded value went down 3.1pc to $11.3m on a day-on-day basis.

Stocks contributing significantly to the traded volume included Telecard Ltd (12.4m shares), WorldCall Telecom Ltd (9.4m shares), Pakistan Aluminium Beve­r­age Cans Ltd (7.6m sha­res), Pakistan International Bulk Terminal Ltd (6m shares) and Nishat Mills Ltd (4.5m shares).

Sectors contributing neg­a­­t­i­vely to the index performance were commercial ba­n­k­ing (50.2 points), miscellaneous (31.8 points), tec­h­nology and communication (22.6 points), exploration and production (20.7 points) and tobacco (16.5 points). Companies registering the biggest increases in their share prices in absolute terms were Khy­ber Textile Mills Ltd (Rs25.79), Shield Corporation Ltd (Rs20.89), Millat Tractors Ltd (Rs15.14), Atlas Honda Ltd (Rs9.93) and EFU Life Assurance Ltd (Rs9.90).

Companies that reco­rded the biggest declines in their share prices in absolute terms were Unilever Pa­k­i­stan Foods Ltd (Rs497.67), Nestle Pakistan Ltd (Rs130.20), Pakistan Serv­ices Ltd (Rs71.90), Pakistan Tobacco Company Ltd (Rs48.58) and Bata Pakistan Ltd (Rs29).

Foreign investors were net sellers as they offloaded shares worth $0.15m.

Published in Dawn, March 30th, 2023

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