KARACHI: Bulls dominated the stock market on Monday as the benchmark index rallied, gaining more than 600 points and finishing its seventh successive session in the green.
The euphoria emerged in the wake of Prime Minister Imran Khan's visit to China as investors were hopeful of positive developments for Pakistan during the trip.
After a brief dip in early hours, the KSE-100 index surged over 800 points during intra-day trading. The jump came despite the upcoming Financial Action Task Force (FATF) plenary meeting, which would give its decision on Pakistan's status in the grey list.
Over the weekend, the Asia-Pacific Group (APG) on money laundering released its Mutual Evaluation report, saying Pakistan faced high risks of money laundering and terror financing and it needed to improve understanding of the risks, which were also linked with various terrorist groups operating in the country.
The report showed that out of FATF's 40 recommendations on curbing money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism, Pakistan was fully or partially compliant with 36.
At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded an increase of 603.50 points, or 1.83%, to settle at 33,636.82 points.
JS Global analyst Danish Ladhani said equities closed on a positive note with the benchmark KSE-100 index gaining 603 points to close at 33,637.
"The market showed relief on the building consensus that the FATF is likely to keep Pakistan in the grey list as there is progress on most of the regulations that the task force wants Pakistan to implement," the analyst said.
"Moreover, the business community, which recently met with the army chief and shared its concern over the economic conditions, are buoyant after their meeting with him."
Exploration and production companies were the major gainers among which Oil and Gas Development Company (+0.9%), Pakistan Petroleum Limited (+2.7%) and Pakistan Oilfields (+1.7%) remained in the positive trajectory.
In the financial sector, Bank AL Habib (+3.7%), UBL (+2.4%), Meezan Bank (+4), HBL (+0.4%) and MCB Bank (+1.2%) were in the positive zone.
A rally was seen in the cement sector where Cherat Cement (+5%) and Pioneer Cement (+5%) hit their upper circuits. Lucky Cement (+3.6%) and DG Khan Cement (+4.4%) were also major gainers of the sector.
"Moving ahead, we expect the market to remain positive on the back of easing political pressure," Ladhani added.
Overall, trading volumes increased to 392.16 million shares compared with Friday's tally of 261.8 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs10.11 billion.
The Bank of Punjab was the volume leader with 39.95 million shares, gaining Rs0.70 to close at Rs9.82. It was followed by Unity Foods with 24.7 million shares, gaining Rs0.27 to close at Rs10.20 and K-Electric with 16.9 million shares, gaining Rs0.06 to close at Rs4.11.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs329.2 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ