KARACHI: Share prices moved within a narrow range on Wednesday before closing flat on mixed signals on the economic front.

Topline Securities said the benchmark index of the Pakistan Stock Exchange floated within a band of 580 points throughout trading hours.

Some support for share prices came on the back of media reports about the first formal contact between the caretaker government and the International Monetary Fund on the issue of the circular debt management plan.

Furthermore, Bank AL Habib Ltd declared an interim dividend of Rs4.50 per share, which proved better than market expectations. However, banking, technology and cement sectors exerted negative pressure on share prices, pulling the index down.

Arif Habib Ltd said the KSE-100 index can possibly drop further, but the current level is where investors should start buying for the next advance towards 50,000 points.

As a result, the KSE-100 index settled at 47,418.63 points, unchanged from the preceding session.

The overall trading volume also remained flat at 188.6 million shares. The traded value increased 41.3 per cent to Rs8.7 billion on a day-on-day basis.

Stocks contributing significantly to the traded volume included WorldCall Telecom Ltd (20.9m shares), Oil and Gas Development Company Ltd (16m shares), JS Bank Ltd (12.2m shares), Dewan Automotive Engineering Ltd (9.9m shares) and Pakistan Petroleum Ltd (9.8m shares).

Companies registering the biggest increases in their share prices in absolute terms were Gadoon Textile Mills Ltd (Rs14.99), Mari Petroleum Company Ltd (Rs9.80), Baluchistan Wheels Ltd (Rs8.56), Lucky Core Industries Ltd (Rs7.80) and Dynea Pakistan Ltd (Rs5.48).

Companies that recorded the biggest declines in their share prices in absolute terms were Allawasaya Textile and Finishing Mills Ltd (Rs130), Pakistan Services Ltd (Rs40.28), Premium Textile Mills Ltd (Rs28.50), Sanofi-Aventis Pakistan Ltd (Rs20) and Khyber Tobacco Company Ltd (Rs14.76).

Foreign investors were net buyers as they purchased shares worth $0.38m.

Published in Dawn, August 24th, 2023

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