KARACHI: The stock market posted meagre gains on Thursday despite cautious trading thanks to slowing inflation and a slight cut in T-bill yields.

Ahshan Mehanti of Arif Habib Corporation said the market showed recovery after the government slashed yields on treasury bonds by up to 60bps and the finance ministry projected inflation to range 13.5pc-14.5pc for May, refreshing hopes for a massive easing in the SBP policy rate in the coming months.

He said the proposed 27 per cent hike in the development outlay to Rs1.2tr for the next fiscal year also restored investor confidence.

Topline Securities Ltd reported that equities had a mixed day. Bulls and bears fought throughout the session to seize control of market momentum, and ultimately, the bulls emerged victorious.

Contrary to yesterday’s momentum, the day initially started on a positive note. However, investors chose to do some profit-taking, which caused the benchmark index to hit an intraday low at 74,585, losing 251 points. Nonetheless, value hunters rescued the market at the day’s low, ultimately leading the index to a positive closing.

The E&P, banking and fertiliser sectors contributed negatively as Mari Petroleum Ltd, MCB Bank, Engro Corporation, Fauji Fertiliser and Pakistan Services Ltd lost 37 points. On the other hand, stocks like Millat Tractors Ltd, Service Industries and Pakistan Petroleum attracted some buying interest, resulting in a combined positive contribution of 39 points.

As a result, the KSE 100 index settled at 74,878.30 points after adding 41.82 points or 0.06pc on a day-on-day basis.

The shares registering the most significant increases in their share prices in absolute terms were Service Industries (Rs57.78), JDW Sugar Mills (Rs37.52), Nestle Pakistan (Rs35.69), Unilever Foods (Rs26.67) and Millat Tractors (Rs21.51).

The companies registering the major decreases in their share prices in absolute terms were Ismail Industries (Rs127.37), Mari Petroleum Ltd (Rs48.40), PIA Holding (Rs46.12), Shahmurad Sugar Mills (Rs38.45) and Al-Abbas Sugar (Rs30.09).

Foreign investors continued to be net buyers, picking shares worth $0.80m.

Published in Dawn, May 31st, 2024

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