KARACHI: The stock market turned around on Thursday as the benchmark KSE-100 index advanced, rising past the 39,000-point mark.
Investors felt assured by news reports that the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) had expressed some degree of satisfaction over Pakistan's efforts and action plan to tackle money laundering.
The KSE-100 opened upwards and continued to trade in the black throughout the session.
At the end of trading, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded an increase of 168.59 points or 0.43% to settle at 39,090.28.
Elixir Securities' analyst Murtaza Jafar said the KSE-100 index closed marginally positive to settle above 39,000 points.
"The market initially traded higher (up to 305 points), led by positive news flow about satisfactory remarks from the FATF on Pakistan's action plan given to curtail money laundering and terror financing; however, lacklustre participation and choppy behaviour led the market to skid lower, particularly in the last hour of the day," Jafar pointed out.
Oil and Gas Development Company (+2.39%) and Pakistan Petroleum Limited (+3.29%) were among major contributors to gains in the KSE-100 on the back of increase in international crude oil prices.
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"Moving forward, we expect the market to consolidate in the range of 38,600- 39,200 until the upcoming mini-budget, due on January 14," he said.
Overall, trading volumes decreased to 112.05 million shares compared with Wednesday's tally of 133.85 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs4.6 billion.
Shares of 336 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 137 stocks closed higher, 184 declined and 15 remained unchanged.
The Bank of Punjab was the volume leader with 11.4 million shares, gaining Rs0.13 to close at Rs12.71. It was followed by WorldCall Telecom with 7.96 million shares, gaining Rs0.20 to close at Rs1.61 and Pak Elektron with 7.9 million shares, losing Rs0.21 to close at Rs27.34.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs68.9 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.
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