KARACHI: Share prices closed on the higher side on Friday as investors welcomed the news about the likely reduction in subsidies for the revival of the loan programme under the International Monetary Fund.

Arif Habib Ltd said the first half of the trading session remained volatile because market participants stayed cautious owing to political uncertainty. Resultantly, the benchmark index remained in the red. However, bulls mustered up some courage in the second session, with investors taking fresh positions particularly in the pharmaceutical sector to add value to their portfolios. Speculations ahead of the upcoming federal budget also helped improve sentiments.

As a result, the KSE-100 index settled at 41,599.19 points, up 157.11 points or 0.38 per cent from the preceding session.

The overall trading volume increased 18.8pc to 120.4 million shares. The traded value went up 9.5pc to $11.5m on a day-on-day basis.

Stocks contributing significantly to the traded volume included WorldCall Telecom Ltd (19.9m shares), Air Link Communication Ltd (6m shares), the Searle Com­p­a­­ny Ltd (4.8m shares), Unity Foods Ltd (4.7m sha­res) and Pakistan Petro­leum Ltd (4.5m shares).

Sectors contributing the most to the index performance were exploration and production (57.9 points), miscellaneous (22.8 points), cement (18.8 points), food and personal care products (16.5 points) and pharmaceutical (15.8 points).

Companies registering the biggest increases in their share prices in absolute terms were Unilever Pakistan Foods Ltd (Rs1,000), Nestle Pakistan Ltd (Rs166.25), Pakistan Services Ltd (Rs41), Sapphire Textile Mills Ltd (Rs27.55) and Bata Pakistan Ltd (Rs25).

Companies that recor­ded the biggest declines in their share prices in absolute terms were Rafhan Maize Products Company Ltd (Rs349.99), Khyber Textile Mills Ltd (Rs57.75), Service Indus­tries Ltd (Rs8.55), Archro­­ma Pakistan Ltd (Rs5.83) and Lucky Core Industries Ltd (Rs5.32).

Foreign investors were net buyers as they purcha­sed shares worth $0.11m.

Published in Dawn, May 20th, 2023

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