KARACHI: Despite an ongoing buying spree by foreign investors, stocks stumbled on Friday due to poor economic data and FTSE Russell’s downgrade of Pakistan to frontier market status.

Ahsan Mehanti of Arif Habib Corporation said weak rupee, projections for higher CPI inflation amid tough tax measures in the federal budget FY25, and concerns about falling oil and cement sales contributed to a bearish close. Petroleum sales dipped 8pc in outgoing FY24, and cement despatches fell 12.6pc in June,

Topline Securities Ltd attributed the market volatility to consolidation around the psychological index level of 80,000 after a recent rally.

Investor interest was observed in mid-cap banks such as Habib Bank, Bank Al-Habib, National Bank, HabibMetro Bank, and Askari Bank, contributing 333 points to the index.

Conversely, Oil and Gas Development Company, Hub Power Company, MCB Bank, Meezan Bank, and Bank Alfalah lost value, weighing down the index by 172 points.

As a result, the benchmark index hit an intraday high of 80,627.49 points and a low of 80,080.25. However, the index settled lower at 80,212.79 after losing 70.01.13 points or 0.09pc on a day-on-day basis.

However, the overall trading volume contracted further by 9.62pc to 448.98 million shares. The traded value also dipped 1.72pc to Rs18.99bn on a day-on-day basis.

Stocks contributing significantly to the traded volume included The Bank of Punjab (34.40m shares), National Bank (28.49m shares), PIA Holding Co (25.10m shares), WorldCall Telecom (22.35m shares) and Hum Network (16.56m shares).

The shares registering the most significant inc­reases in their share prices in absolute terms were Rafhan Maize (Rs108.11), Sazgar Engineering Works Ltd (Rs65.16), Pakistan Engineering (Rs51.33), PIA Holding Company (Rs46.02) and Data Agro Ltd (Rs31.17).

The companies registering significant decreases in their share prices in absolute terms were Hoe­chst Pakistan (Rs140.00), Unilever Foods (Rs86.13), Philip Morris (Rs38.95), Bata Pakistan (Rs35.88) and Mari Petroleum (Rs29.28).

Foreign investors remained net buyers as they bought shares worth $3.59m.

Published in Dawn, July 6th, 2024

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