KARACHI: The stock market started trading on a bullish note on the first day of the week but the growing political uncertainty and its likely fallouts triggered selling by some worried investors as a result the benchmark KSE 100-share index closed in the red.

Topline Securities Ltd said the equities floated in both directions. Initially, the index made an intraday high of 555 points to 65,069 level. However, profit-taking at the aforesaid level compelled the benchmark index to lose earlier gains before recording an intraday low of 331 points to 64,184.

Due to increasing political noise on the holding of upcoming general elections on Feb 8, investors opted to trim their equity positions by booking profit in selective stocks of banks, exploration and production, tech and OMC sectors.

Resultantly, United Bank Ltd, Pakistan Petro­le­um, Oil and Gas Develo­pment Company Ltd, TRG Pakistan Ltd and PSO lost 200 points, cumulatively.

On the flip side, Engro Corporation, Engro Fertili­sers Ltd and Dawood Hercules Corporation Ltd collectively added 269 points due to rejuvenated buying interest in them.

Ahsan Mehanti of Arif Habib Corporation said pre-poll uncertainty ahead of the IMF board meeting, which is scheduled for Jan 11, on its first review under the $3bn Stand-By Arrangement did add to the investor nervousness.

Also, doubts were growing about a cut in the SBP policy rate in the wake of surging inflation and concerns for geo-political tensions played a catalyst role in the bearish close of the market.

The KSE-100 index closed at 64,237.03 points after losing 277.87 points or 0.43 per cent from the preceding session.

The overall trading volume plunged by 49.02pc to 484.01 million shares. The traded value also dipped 93.41pc to Rs12.74bn on a day-on-day basis.

Stocks contributing significantly to the traded volume included K-Electric Ltd (168.81m shares), Worldcall Telecom Ltd (21.98m shares), Pakistan International Airlines Cor­poration (17.94m shares), Pakistan Telecommuni­cation Company Ltd (17.77m shares) and Cnergiyco PK Ltd (15.69m shares).

Companies registering the biggest increases in their share prices in absolute terms were Pak Suzuki Motor Company Ltd (Rs50.46), Reliance Cotton Spinning Mills Ltd (Rs35.00), JDW Sugar Mills Ltd (Rs33.69), Pakistan Services Ltd (Rs29.90) and Sapphire Textile Mills Ltd (Rs20.00).

Companies registering the biggest decreases in their share prices in absolute terms were Nestle Pakistan Ltd (Rs150.00), Sapphire Fibres Ltd (Rs135.00), Pakistan Tobacco Company Ltd (Rs22.60), Service Industries Ltd (Rs17.03) and Al-Abbas Sugar Mills Ltd (Rs13.00).

Foreign investors were net buyers as they purchased shares worth $0.16m.

Published in Dawn, January 9th, 2024

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