KARACHI: Bulls dominated the stock market on Monday as the index surged following Finance Minister Asad Umar's meeting with the business community.
Sentiments improved as investors felt reassured by the minister's visit over the weekend. Umar hinted at a positive announcement in the mini-budget for the stock brokers, which led to a relief rally.
The KSE-100 opened upwards and continued to trade positive during the day. At the end of trading, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded an increase of 363.47 points or 0.93% to settle at 39,412.55.
Elixir Securities' analyst Murtaza Jafar said equities closed in the black with the benchmark KSE-100 index settling at 39,413. "The market kicked off on a positive note after finance minister's assurances to the business community over the weekend about the upcoming finance bill, scheduled to be presented in the National Assembly on January 23."
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The minister promised that upcoming measures were being planned to reduce the cost of doing business, rather than increasing tax revenues for the government, in order to improve investment climate in the country.
"Positive momentum was thus seen across the board; the highlight of the day were the automobile assemblers as Pak Suzuki Motor Company (+5%) and Honda Altas Cars (+5%) both closed on their respective upper circuits on market speculation that the upcoming finance bill may remove restrictions on the purchase of new vehicles for non-filers of tax returns," Jafar said.
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"The current rising momentum is likely to test 40,100-40,300 levels with UBL, Engro and Lucky Cement being our preferred plays."
Overall, trading volumes decreased to 115.3 million shares compared with Friday's tally of 123.6 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs5.5 billion.
Shares of 356 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 241 stocks closed higher, 93 declined and 22 remained unchanged.
Pak Elektron was the volume leader with 13.6 million shares, gaining Rs0.81 to close at Rs28.41. It was followed by K-Electric with 10.8 million shares, gaining Rs0.11 to close at Rs6.42 and TRG Pakistan with 10.6 million shares, gaining Rs1.16 to close at Rs24.42.
Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs120.6 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.