KARACHI: In a volatile session, the equities market closed in the green on Tuesday on rising hopes of an imminent interest rate cut following a sharp dece­l­eration in CPI-based inflation to 20.68 per cent in March.

Ahsan Mehanti of Arif Habib Corporation Ltd said the market showed recovery as investors weigh the 22-month lowest inflation reading below the Ministry of Finance’s projection of 23.5pc, which is expected to pave the way for a reduction in the State Bank’s policy rate next month.

He said the surging glo­bal stocks and crude oil prices, deliberations over priv­atising loss-making sta­te-owned enterprises and exchange rate stability hel­p­ed the index stay bullish.

Topline Securities Ltd. said the trading began on a positive note, as the KSE 100-share index gained 163 points, climbing to an intraday high of 66,960, just below the 67,000 level.

However, a section of investors indulged in profit-taking at the day’s high, trimming early gains. The cautious market players preferred to stay on the sidelines ahead of the Eidul Fitr holidays, starting April 9, and the absence of any trigger that may influence market direction.

As a result, the KSE-100 index closed at 66,886.26 points after eking out 89.94 points, or 0.13 per cent, from the preceding session.

The overall trading volume edged higher 0.34pc to 239.6 million shares. The traded value was also up 6.94pc to Rs8.94bn on a day-on-day basis.

Stocks contributing significantly to the traded volume included WorldCall Telecom Ltd (32.34m shares), Pakistan Telecom­mu­nication Company Ltd (27.13m shares), Pak Reinsurance Ltd (13.12m shares), Telecard Ltd (9.53m shares) and Flying Cement Ltd (7.38m shares).

The shares registering the most significant incre­ases in their share prices in absolute terms were Hallm­ark Company Ltd (Rs39.60), Pakistan Servi­ces Company Ltd (Rs34.50), Sazgar Engine­ering Company Ltd (Rs22.43), Murree Brewery (Rs22.11) and Atlas Honda Ltd (Rs14.00).

The companies registering the major decreases in their share prices in absolute terms were Pakistan Tob­­a­cco Company Ltd (Rs47.85), Abbott Lab Ltd (Rs23.22), Mari Petroleum Ltd (Rs22.02), Blessed Tex­tile Ltd (Rs19.80) and Indus Motor Company Ltd (Rs17.11).

Foreign investors remai­ned net buyers as they pic­ked shares worth $0.42m.

Published in Dawn, April 3rd, 2024

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