KARACHI: Amid falling foreign exchange reserves of the State Bank of Pakistan and uncertainty about the interest rate outlook, the stock market extended its losing streak for the third straight day on Thursday as some investors resorted to profit-taking as a result the benchmark KSE 100-share index saw another day of losses in a volatile session.

Ahsan Mehanti of Arif Habib Corporation said the market sentiments remained depressed due to economic uncertainty due to the International Monetary Fund’s new conditions for liberalising imports, higher taxation and power tariff reforms.

He said the oil sector outperformed on strong financials and Govt revised refineries policy supporting upgradation.

Topline Securities Ltd said the index witnessed a volatile session marked by an intraday high of 217.53 points and an intraday low of 468.94 points.

On the political front, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has pledged to devote himself tirelessly to resolving the country’s crisis, with expectations that his cabinet members’ names would be finalised within the next 48 hours.

However, the fall in international coal prices to $100 per tonne attracted buying interest cement sector as a result DG Khan Cement was up 1.29pc, Pioneer Cement 0.92pc and Kohat Cement Company 2.16pc.

Consequently, the banking, oil exploration, fertiliser and power sectors made positive contributions to the index, with OGDC, Pak Electron Ltd, Hub Power, Pakistan Petr­oleum Ltd and Dawood Hercules Corporation Ltd collectively adding 134 points. However, Bank AlHabib, MCB Bank, Engro Corporation and Meezan Bank Ltd came under selling pressure cumulatively wiping out 121 points from the index.

As a result, the KSE-100 index closed at 65,603.09 points after shedding 53.53 points or 0.08 per cent from the preceding session.

The overall trading volume fell 15.62pc to 354.15 million shares. The traded value also dipped 21.27pc to Rs14.43bn on a day-on-day basis.

Stocks contributing significantly to the traded volume included Pak Elek­tron (31.07m shares), Tele­card Ltd (22.63m shares), P.I.A.C.(A) (21.56m shares), WorldCall Tele­com Ltd (20.84m shares), and Cnergyico PK Ltd (19.36 million shares).

Shares registering the biggest increases in their share prices in absolute terms were Unilever Pakistan Foods (Rs400), Rafhan Maize Products Company Ltd (Rs111.12), Sazgar Engineering (Rs28.72) Al-Abbas Sugar Mills Ltd (Rs16.60) and Mari Petroleum Ltd (Rs7.54).

Companies registering the biggest decreases in their share prices in absolute terms were Nestle Pakistan (Rs310.00), Meh­mood Textile (Rs22.50), Dawood Lawrencepur (Rs11.75), Pakistan Hotels Developers Ltd (Rs11.27) and Service Industries Ltd (Rs6.44).

Foreign investors remai­ned net buyers as they pic­ked shares worth $3.49m.

Published in Dawn, March 8th, 2024

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