KARACHI: The stock market turned bullish on Thursday as renewed interest and buying momentum helped the benchmark index power past 43,500 points.
The rally came after the Supreme Court announced its verdict that barred former prime minister Nawaz Sharif from heading the PML-N. With some clarity on the political front, investors took the opportunity to buy stocks at attractive valuations.
When trading began, the KSE-100 Index slumped 523 points in the first hour, hitting an intra-day low of 42,384.18. However soon after, the bourse made a remarkable recovery, pushing the benchmark index higher by 700 points to an intra-day high of 43,627.86.
Stocks in index-heavy oil, banking, fertiliser and cement sectors attracted buying interest.
At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index finished with an increase of 608.73 points or 1.42% to settle at 43,528.51.
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Elixir Securities' analyst Zainul Abedin said Pakistan equities recovered lost ground after taking investors on a roller coaster ride with the KSE-100 finishing trading above 43,500 points.
"The market opened gap down in the morning as select blue chips carried the bearish momentum from late Wednesday trading and dented the KSE-100," he said.
Activity, however, was on the lower side with investors tracking domestic politics that raised concerns over upcoming Senate polls after the apex court ruling.
Sentiments later began to turn positive as Pakistan Oilfields (+5%) hit its upper price limit after Pakistan Petroleum Information Service (PPIS) reported the discovery of significant oil and gas reserves in new exploratory field Jhandial where the company had an 80% stake.
Later, financial stocks pulled back sharply as United Bank (+2.8%) and Habib Bank (+3.2%) gained and contributed to the ascent. Engro Corp (+4.7%) also recovered from the previous day's decline due to pay-out disappointment and moved higher.
Market watch: Foreigners net buyers again as KSE-100 recovers from over 700-point plunge
"[We] see the market to build on Thursday's momentum and inch further up with the KSE-100 Index likely testing and possibly crossing 44,000 psychological barrier," the analyst added.
Overall, trading volumes rose to 190 million shares compared with Wednesday's tally of 188 million.
Shares of 361 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 226 stocks closed higher, 119 declined while 16 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs9 billion.
Dost Steels was the volume leader with 19.4 million shares, gaining Rs0.58 to close at Rs13.46. It was followed by Azgard Nine with 16.2 million shares, losing Rs0.56 to close at Rs17.59 and Lotte Chemical with 10.2 million shares, gaining Rs0.14 to close at Rs9.
Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs13.2 million during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.
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