KARACHI: Stocks rebounded sharply following Tuesday's panic selling as the benchmark index gained to close above the 44,000 mark.
The KSE-100 Index shot up as soon as trading began, increasing 414 points to hit an intra-day high of 44,299.87. The positivity came on the back of recovery in international markets, which had witnessed a plunge earlier.
However, profit-booking meant gains were short-lived as the index fell to settle over the 44,000-point level.
At close on Wednesday, the KSE-100 Index ended with an increase of 210.98 points or 0.48% to finish at 44,096.49 points.
Elixir Securities' analyst Ali Raza said equities closed positive as investors tracked international markets that somewhat recovered after witnessing sharp losses lately.
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"The day kicked off on a positive note as the wider market opened gap up and traded higher with the benchmark KSE-100 Index gaining as much as 0.9%. Index, however, couldn't sustain that level for long and settled 0.5% up as cautious investors sold into the rally during the day," Raza remarked.
Institutional buying was evident in select names with United Bank (UBL PA +2.5%) leading gains in the financial sector while Oil & Gas Development Company (OGDC PA +1.7%) being the star performer from E&Ps sector.
"Highlight of the day was Sindh High Court's final judgement regarding case of increase in regulatory duties during October, wherein it declared the said Statutory Regulatory Order as null & void; steel sector initially declined as investors mistakenly perceived that regulatory duties on steel products were increased in this nullified SRO, however, the stocks pared losses with investors later realising no material impact on the sector.
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"[We] see the market to remain volatile with institutional flows and earnings announcements guiding market direction," he added.
Overall, trading volumes increased to 269 million shares, compared with Tuesday's tally of 238 million.
Shares of 390 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 176 stocks closed higher, 192 declined while 22 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs11.4 billion.
TRG Pakistan was the volume leader with 26.8 million shares, losing Rs0.02 to close at Rs38.85. It was followed by Azgard Nine with 22.8 million shares, gaining Rs0.97 to close at Rs17 and Aisha Steel Mills with 19.5 million shares, gaining Rs0.48 to close at Rs21.81.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs393 million during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.