KARACHI: Following an initial pull back, the bulls returned to propel the KSE-100 index higher by 527.87 points (1.30 per cent) on Thursday to close at 41,049.41. This recorded the highest single day gains in two months with the benchmark index closing above the psychological barrier of 41,000.
The market opened in the red with the index slipping to intraday low of 183 points on reports of the upcoming Finance Amendment Bill. The equities climbed mainly in the second half as investors returned on improved sentiments following the resumption of long-awaited cabinet meeting to grapple with worrisome economic indicators.
Although no immediate decisions on reversal of budgetary measures of the previous government were revealed, investors were encouraged by the expectations of relief on the external front. The index touched intraday high by 628 points.
Commercial banks, fertiliser and oil and gas exploration companies added around 262 points to the index on aggressive value buying. But cement stocks remained in the lead with DG Khan Cement, increasing by 3.89pc, Pioneer Cement 5pc, Lucky Cement 2.64pc and Fauji Cement 0.90pc.
Oil scrips including Oil and Gas Development Company, up 1.15pc, Pakistan Oilfields 0.98pc and Pakistan Petroleum 1.59pc rose mainly in response to the upsurge in international oil prices. Among commercial banks, National Bank gained 2.55pc, MCB 1.35pc, United Bank 1.44pc and Habib Bank 0.67pc.
The volume edged higher by 9pc over the previous day to 149 million shares while traded value jumped 25pc to Rs6.65 billion. In addition to foreign outflows of $6.11m a day ago, foreigners sold equity worth $8.25m on Thursday. A fund manager said further heavy foreign sell-off may spoil market sentiments.
Analysts reckoned the key triggers providing catalyst for market performance in the near term could be the mini budget and clarity on the economic front. However, investors thought it prudent to reduce short-term holdings on strength.
(This news/article originally appeared in DAWN on September 14th, 2018)