Stocks gain 358 points on positive sentiments

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KARACHI: Stocks rallied for the third straight day on Tuesday, underpinned by investors’ optimism on the mini-budget to be announced on the 23rd (today). The KSE-100 index climbed 358.44 points (0.91 per cent) and closed at 39,902.21.

The finance minister’s earlier promise of a ‘good news’ for the market in the budget kept investors in the buying mood, though the slow activity suggested that traders were not inclined to be aggressive as some doubted FM claims given the economic constraints.

A trader suggested that the market was only adjusting itself as investors were inclined to take fresh positions due to attractive valuations. Although the index at its high remained just 39 points short of the 40,000-mark, the latter was thought to prove a strong barrier.

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Also Read: Stocks slip into sleep mode on mini-budget speculations

The market opened sideways, but a sharp spurt in prices of major banks helped lift investor sentiments. Cement and refineries also turned strong on finance minister’s commitments of relief measures for the two sectors in the mini-budget.

The automobile sector also garnered interest where, both Pak Suzuki and Honda Atlas Cars closed at their upper circuits. The positivity was fanned by reports of an increase of 10pc import duty on 1800cc+ cars and duties on all imported vehicles under personal baggage or gift scheme to be paid out of foreign exchange by the recipient.

The volume jumped 10pc to 137 million shares, from 124m while the traded value increased to Rs6.8 billion, from Rs5.97bn. Except for a couple of shares, most leaders were second-tier stocks.

Major contribution to the index upside came from Habib Bank, up 2.59pc, Bank Al Habib 2.85pc, Hub Power 1.76pc, United Bank 1.84pc and MCB 1.13pc, adding 162 points. On the flip side, Attock Petroleum dipped 4.66pc to take away 10 points.

The National Clearing Company of Pakistan Ltd (NCCPL) could not provide complete figures of Local Investors Portfolio Investments (LIPI) till 10:30pm. A senior official of the company attributed the lapse to ‘technical glitch’.

Published in Dawn, January 23rd, 2019

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