KARACHI: The benchmark KSE 100-share index continued to flirt with the 66,000-point level on an intraday basis but a close above that mark was still elusive despite a bullish beginning with a spike in trading volume on Monday.

Topline Securities Ltd said the index remained in the green for most part of the session hitting an intraday high of 326 points at 66,119 after the new cabinet members took oath and the prime minister also called the first meeting in the evening.

However, the 66,000 level has so far proved a quagmire area where bullish forces face tough competition and eventually surrendered 5th time since last week.

Power, fertiliser, tech, auto & pharma sectors contributed positively to the index as Hub Power, Fauji Fertiliser Company, PTCL, Millat Tractors Ltd and The Searle Company Ltd added 95 points, cumulatively. On the flip side, Dawood Hercules, Pakistan Services Ltd and Nestle Pakistan saw some selling as they lost 160 points, collectively.

Ahsan Mehanti of Arif Habib Corporation said the market remained under pressure on weak global equities and prevailing economic uncertainty.

He added that concerns about expected tough talks with IMF for the new Extended Fund Facility and the uncertainty about monetary policy direction in the upcoming review on March 18 played a catalyst role in the bearish close.

As a result, the KSE-100 index closed at 65,755.31 points after losing 38.45 points or 0.06 per cent from the preceding session.

The overall trading volume rose 13.92pc to 354.15 million shares. The traded value, however, dipped 2.28pc to Rs16.60bn on a day-on-day basis.

Stocks contributing significantly to the traded volume included Cnergyico PK Ltd (96.54m shares), Hascol Petroleum Ltd (52.27m shares), Kohinoor Spinning Mills Ltd (27.34m shares), Pakistan Telecommunications Company Ltd (26.43m shares) and Telecard Ltd (20.95m shares).

Companies registering the biggest decreases in their share prices in absolute terms were Unilever Pakistan Foods Ltd (Rs700.00), Nestle Pak­istan (Rs472.23), Pakistan Services Ltd (Rs63.64), Dawood Hercules (Rs10.62), and Dynea Pakistan Ltd (Rs8.73).

Shares registering the biggest increases in their share prices in absolute terms were Rafhan Maize Production Company Ltd (Rs344.50), Pakistan Hotels Developers Ltd (Rs36.00), Al-Abbas Sugar Mills Ltd (Rs20.00), Pak­istan Tobacco Com­pany Ltd (Rs19.90) and Abbott Laboratories (Rs17.00).

Foreign investors remained net buyers as they purchased shares worth $0.17m.

Published in Dawn, March 12th, 2024

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