KARACHI: The equities market began the week positively, buoyed by optimism surrounding the upcoming visit of a Saudi delegation to explore investment prospects in mineral, mining, and refinery sectors, coupled with assurances from the army chief to improve transparency in dollar exchange and interbank rates, which boosted investor confidence.

The market’s resurgence can be attributed to optimistic developments stemming from a recent engagement of the army chief with business leaders in Lahore, a Topline Securities report said.

The benchmark KSE-100 index gained 394.77 points or 0.87 per cent to close at 45,707.42.

Ahsan Mehanti, Managing Director and CEO at Arif Habib Commodities attributed the market’s positive trend to discussions regarding the projected $100bn SIFC investments and deceleration in CPI-based inflation to 27.4pc in August.

“The army chief’s assurance regarding transparency in dollar exchange and interbank rates, bringing exchange companies under the tax net to mitigate rupee instability, and the surge in global crude oil prices played a catalytic role in the bullish activity,” he added.

Fertiliser, Exploration and Production (E&P), and chemical stocks, including Engro Corp, Hub Power, Pakistan Petroleum, Colgate Palmolive and Fauji FertiliserFC, collectively added 155 points to the index. However, Bank Alfalah, Indus Motor and Archroma Pakistan collectively lost 28 points.

Al Shaheer Corp topped the charts with 11.2 million shares, while the overall market saw a total trading volume of 138m shares and a value of Rs4.4bn.

Companies registering the biggest increases in their share prices were Colgate Palm (Rs31.31), Al-Abbas Sugar (Rs23.98), Attock Refinery (Rs13.40), Shahmurad Su­g­ar (Rs12.09) and Atlas Honda (Rs11.01).

Companies that recorded the biggest declines were Mehmood Textiles (Rs47.55), Arch­roma Pak (Rs27.58), Philip Morris (Rs27), JDW Sugar Mills (Rs25), and Indus Motors (Rs23.98).

Stocks contributing significantly to the traded volume included Al-Sha­heer Corp (11.26m shares), WorldCall Tele­com (11.21m shares), Dewan Mot­ors (8.84m shares), Cner­gyico PK (8.42m shares), and Pak Refinery (6.73m shares).

Of the 313 active scrips, 187 advanced, 105 declined, and 21 remained unchanged.

Published in Dawn, September 5th, 2023

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