KARACHI: A five-day losing streak came to an end on Thursday as the stock market recouped losses on the back of assurances from the prime minister and army to the nation that Pakistan would maintain peace amid rising tensions with India.
The KSE-100 index shot up from the moment trading began, surging past the 39,000 mark as the international community came forward to defuse growing tensions between Pakistan and India, advising both nations to refrain from military escalation.
Although the index later dropped into the red zone, the recovery was quick. Investors gradually engaged in stock buying but trading volumes stood low.
At the end of trading, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded an increase of 361.92 points, or 0.94%, to settle at 39,054.61.
Topline Securities, in its report, stated that the increase in the benchmark index mainly came on the back of some positive developments to ease the conflict between Pakistan and India.
Market watch: From 1,491 points to just 129 points down, KSE-100 recovers remarkably
"This included US President Donald Trump's statement, saying he has received reasonably attractive news from Pakistan and India about tackling the ongoing conflict. Also Prime Minister Imran Khan announced the release of captured Indian pilot by Friday as a peace gesture," the report added.
"For February 2019, the KSE-100 index wiped off half of its gains from the previous month, losing 4.3% month-on-month (or down 1,745 points)."
Investors resorted to selling during the month due to poor corporate earnings, the report added.
Overall, trading volumes decreased to 159.4 million shares compared with Wednesday's tally of 273.7 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs7.4 billion.
Shares of 364 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 256 stocks closed higher, 84 declined and 24 remained unchanged.
The Bank of Punjab was the volume leader with 13.4 million shares, gaining Rs0.45 to close at Rs12.69. It was followed by WorldCall Telecom with 9.8 million shares, gaining Rs0.04 to close at Rs1.40 and K-Electric with 9.5 million shares, gaining Rs0.17 to close at Rs6.04.
Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs28.7 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.