KARACHI: Bulls continued to reign at the Pakistan Stock Exchange on Thursday as the market advanced rapidly for the fourth successive session, powering past the 31,800-point mark.
In the morning, trading began on a positive note as the index jumped over 900 points on the back of investor interest in stocks across the board on strong valuations. Upbeat current account data and stability in the rupee against the US dollar added to the optimistic mood, thus pushing the index higher.
Overall sentiment also improved on the possibility of a favourable outcome with regard to the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) pending decision. On the other hand, greater interest in the subscription of long-term bonds acted as a catalyst, which helped the index close on a bullish note.
At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded an increase of 911.70 points, or 2.94%, to settle at 31,884.45 points.
JS Global analyst Maaz Mulla said the bourse further recovered from its last trading session. The market closed positive on talk that Pakistan might exit the FATF grey list, he said.
Market participation was seen in exploration and production (E&P), cement and fertiliser sectors.
In the E&P sector, Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDC, +5%), Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL, +4.3%) and Pakistan Oilfields Limited (POL, +5%) remained in the green as oil prices edged higher in the international market after a drawdown in US crude inventories.
In the cement sector, Fauji Cement (+7%), Maple Leaf Cement (+5.2%), Pioneer Cement (+5.1%), DG Khan Cement (+5%) and Cherat Cement (+5%) touched their upper circuits.
Among banks, UBL (+2.3%), Bank Alfalah (+5%) and HBL (+1.5%) were major contributors to the positivity.
“Moving ahead, we expect the market to show positive trend on the back of favourable news about FATF status for Pakistan ahead of the final meeting,” the analyst said.
Topline Securities, in its report, stated equities continued to show colossal gains during the day due to attractive valuations, which were further boosted by E&P companies that contributed 212 points following discovery of a development well in the Makori block.
In the exploration sector, stocks of OGDC, Mari Petroleum, PPL and POL gained in the range of 4-5%, it said.
Overall, trading volumes increased to 261.7 million shares compared with Wednesday’s tally of 134.6 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs7.6 billion.
Shares of 389 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 334 stocks closed higher, 41 declined and 14 remained unchanged.
WorldCall Telecom was the volume leader with 22.6 million shares, gaining Rs0.16 to close at Rs0.75. It was followed by K-Electric with 17.9 million shares, gaining Rs0.43 to close at Rs3.75 and The Bank of Punjab with 14.8 million shares, gaining Rs0.78 to close at Rs9.09.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs406.96 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.