KARACHI: The local bourse experienced mixed trends in the outgoing week amid conflicting developments on the economic front.
Arif Habib Ltd said the market was unified in its expectation of an increase in the policy rate, which dampened investors’ sentiments. However, the Monetary Policy Committee of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) kept the policy rate unchanged at 22 per cent.
Pakistan’s current account deficit in August shrank 79pc year-on-year to $160 million versus $774m in the same period a year ago. Also, inflows of foreign direct investment in the first two months of 2023-24 rose to $234m against $201m a year ago.
Moreover, the SBP’s reserves decreased by $140m to hit $7.6 billion. In addition, the rupee closed against the dollar at 296.85 after gaining 2.05pc from a week ago.
As a result, the benchmark index of the stock market closed at 45,754 points after declining by 260 points or 0.6pc from the preceding week.
Sector-wise, negative contributions came from commercial banking (225 points), fertiliser (100 points), oil and gas exploration (65 points), food and personal care (42 points) and technology and communication (41 points). Sectors that contributed positively were cement (116 points) and investment banking (63 points).
Scrip-wise, negative contributors were MCB Bank Ltd (77 points), Fauji Fertiliser Company Ltd (51 points), Engro Corporation Ltd (50 points), Habib Bank Ltd (41 points) and Meezan Bank Ltd (35 points).
Positive contributions came from Dawood Hercules Corporation Ltd (66 points), Lucky Cement Ltd (56 points), the Hub Power Company Ltd (48 points), Pakistan Services Ltd (39 points) and Pioneer Cement Ltd (18 points).
According to AKD Securities Ltd, the stock market is expected to remain range-bound going forward as investors wait for the next IMF review and the announcement of the general election schedule. “We continue to advise investors to remain cautious… and invest in companies with strong fundamentals or high dividend-yielding scrips,” it added.
Published in Dawn, September 17th, 2023