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Stock market posts modest gains amid choppy trade

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KARACHI:

The Pakistan Stock Exchange witnessed a topsy-turvy trading session on Friday as the KSE-100 index climbed in first half and dipped in the second. Despite choppy trading, the market managed to close the week with modest gains.

A roller coaster ride was experienced at the bourse as investors remained skeptical over the coal prices hike in the international market and widening inflation in the local economy.

On the flip side, announcement of strong financial results in banking, oil and fertiliser sectors coupled with expectations of a likely approval of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) tranche kept the investment climate positive.

Surge in foreign exchange reserves amid continuous local currency appreciation also instilled optimism among the market participants.

The first session kicked-off on a positive note and the index breached 47,500 point barrier for a brief period before selling pressure dragged it partially downward. Bearish trading persisted in the second half as well however a buying spree, emerging in the last hour, helped the index recoup losses.

At close, the benchmark KSE-100 index recorded an increase of 76.62 points, or 0.16%, to settle at 47,295.8.

Arif Habib Limited, in a report, stated that positive momentum was witnessed just after the opening bell of the market as cement sector led the rally due to rumors of price hike in the upcoming week.

Cement and banking stocks contributed the most in the bull-run.

Activity continued to remain sideways as market witnessed hefty volumes in third tier stocks.

The overnight fuel price increase by the government concerned the investors towards inflationary pressure.

In the second session, profit taking was witnessed across the board mainly led by technology sector, the report said.

JS Global analyst Waqar Iqbal said that the KSE-100 kick started the first session with 200 points plus and touched intraday high of 47,608 (+389 points).

With the announcement by the government to increase petroleum product prices by Rs8 per liter, the market preempted that a nearby agreement with the IMF would materialise soon.

Worldcall Telecom Limited (1.1%), Ghani Global Holdings Limited (5.5%), Telecard Limited (2.4%), First National Equities Limited (-4.2%) and Hascol Petroleum Limited (9.8%) were the highest contributors to volume.

“Going forward market will keep vigilant on news flow regarding monetary policy and current account print for November 2021,” the analyst said.

Overall trading volumes decreased to 469.87 million shares compared with Thursday’s tally of 561.9 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs15.94 billion.

Shares of 363 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 180 stocks closed higher, 164 declined and 19 remained unchanged.

WorldCall Telecom was the volume leader with 41.91 million shares, gaining Rs0.03 to close at Rs2.69. It was followed by Ghani Global Holdings with 36.44 million shares, gaining Rs1.86 to close at Rs35.8 and Telecard Limited XB with 24.22 million shares, gaining Rs0.43 to close at Rs18.63.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs202.5 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.




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