KARACHI: The stock market bounced back on Thursday as investors scrambled to pick blue chips in late trading that helped the benchmark index close in the black, just a few points shy of 43,000.
The KSE-100 index traded in a narrow range throughout the day after minor fluctuations in the morning. It dipped briefly after midday, but buying activity later supported the index in gaining momentum.
As political uncertainty had almost disappeared, the investors turned their focus solely on the ongoing corporate results.
At close, the KSE 100-share Index recorded an increase of 192.09 points or 0.45% to settle at 42,923.95.
Elixir Securities' analyst Murtaza Jafar said equities closed in the green with the benchmark KSE-100 index settling above 42,900.
Market watch: Amid volatility, KSE-100 slips 28 points
"Sideways activity was witnessed throughout the day as the market consolidated in a narrow range, but late buying in select blue chips pushed the index higher," Jafar said.
The cement sector regained momentum with Lucky Cement (+2.58%), DG Khan Cement (+2.95%), Maple Leaf Cement (+4.99%) and Attock Cement (+5%) traded higher with some of them at their upper price limits.
Investors remained upbeat about Sui Northern Gas Pipelines that gained 3.95%. On the other hand, Allied Bank Limited (+1.46%) announced its financial result for 2QCY18, declaring earnings per share of Rs2.97 along with cash dividend of Rs2, which were in line with street expectations.
"[We] expect volatility to remain high as the index heads towards the 43,000/100 resistance zone," he added.
KSE-100 ends marginally negative
Overall, trading volumes increased to 206.2 million shares compared with Wednesday's tally of 191.5 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs10.4 billion.
Shares of 402 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 242 stocks closed higher, 141 declined while 19 remained unchanged.
Pak Elektron was the volume leader with 12.2 million shares, gaining Rs1.08 to close at Rs42.09. It was followed by Lotte Chemical with 9.05 million shares, gaining Rs0.09 to close at Rs14.15 and The Bank of Punjab with 8.8 million shares, gaining Rs0.08 to close at Rs11.74.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs1.15 billion worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.
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