KARACHI: The KSE-100 Index continued its winning run, ending positive for the fourth successive session with the benchmark settling above the 44,100-point level on the last trading day of the week.
The benchmark index maintained a steady rise throughout the day, registering an intra-day high of 622 points on the back of renewed interest in autos, oil, banking and cement stocks. Unperturbed by developments at the political front, investors continued the buying trend that started last month. Foreign investors have also consistently emerged as net buyers during the ongoing month.
At close, the KSE-100 Index ended with an increase of 597.95 points or 1.37% to finish at 44,178.83 points.
JS Global analyst Maaz Mulla said bears were defeated in Friday's trading session despite tension in the political environment.
"The market opened positive and touched a high of 622 points as institutional participation was witnessed mainly in the main board stocks," Mulla observed.
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"On the news front, according to the State Bank of Pakistan's (SBP) weekly report, the country's foreign exchange reserves maintained a declining trend, falling below $20 billion. Bullish sentiment was witnessed in the cement sector where DGKC (+3.55%), FCCL (+3.33%), LUCK (+2.05%), CHCC (+3.95%) and MLCF (+3.13%) contributed 96 points to the index.
"A rally was seen in the auto sector where heavyweights INDU (+4.55%), PSMC (+4.93%), MTL (+5%), HCAR (+4.57%) closed higher than its previous day close. Moreover, DFML (+4.97%) closed close to its upper circuit on the back of material information released by the company stating that Engineering Development Board has approved the brownfield status for the company. The production is set to start by the end of Feb 2018.
"Crude oil prices declined in the international market after making the biggest rally since 2015. OGDC (-1.57%) and POL (-0.09%) were the major victims of the mentioned sector.
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"Moving forward, we expect the market to maintain its positive trend, however, we recommend investors to accumulate valued and growth stocks on dips," he added.
Overall, trading volume decreased to 209 million shares, compared with Thursday's tally of 268 million.
Shares of 378 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 271 stocks closed higher, 92 declined while 15 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs10.7 billion.
WorldCall Telecom was the volume leader with 13 million shares, gaining Rs0.07 to close at Rs2.87. It was followed by Sui South Gas with 12.2 million shares, gaining Rs1.18 to close at Rs34.59 and Dewan Cement with 11.4 million shares, losing Rs1.01 to close at Rs21.80.
Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs673 million during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.
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