KARACHI, Jan 30: Stocks continued their gaining spree on at the stock market on Wednesday with the KSE-100 index adding another 33.23 points to close at the new high at 17,205.27 points.

Telecom stocks set the tone of the market with all five stocks listed under the sector, recording gains, with three of them among the 10 top volume leaders for the day. Analysts said that investors were looking forward to record earnings by the sector companies.

However, the immediate trigger appeared to be the Singapore Telecommunications Limited (SingTel) announcement on Tuesday that it had entered into an agreement with Warid Telecom Private Limited (WTPL) to sell off its 30pc stake in Warid for a cash consideration of $150m along with 7.5pc share of the net proceeds from any future sale (by Warid). WPTL is a part of Abu Dhabi Group that would now owns 100 per cent post-deal.

Other than that, investors were comforted by the fact that no major adverse movement was seen on the political front, though results of big-ticket corporates released in the previous few days had nothing much to cheer about.

Sizeable buying of $2.74 million worth equity by foreign investors on Wednesday was also thought to have moved the market in northwardly direction. Adding to the Tuesday’s net purchase of $3.47 million worth stocks, the foreign portfolio inflow during the month of January reached $11.64 million. Among the locals, individuals and mutual funds were major sellers of stock worth $3.11 million and $2.38 million, respectively.

Analyst Ahsan Mehanti at Arif Habib Corporation commented that stocks closed again at all time high on expectations of easing of circular debt crises after Nepra raised power tariff.

The rupee stability in interbank market, higher global commodities on strong US data, speculations ahead of major earning announcements due this week, strong earnings outlook and hopes for rate cut in next SBP policy announcements were strong sentiment boosters.

Hasnain Asghar Ali at Escorts Capital said that the gaining momentum in oil and gas marketing and exploration stocks allowed the benchmark to attain record levels, while profit-taking in banking and fertiliser stocks did allow stagnation to surface around midday, which aggravated towards the closing bell forcing the index to close with clipped yet record close above psychological barrier of 17,200 points.

Post announcement sell-off in Fatima Fertiliser due to lower than expected results, took off some more gains.

The market capitalisation based, KSE-100 index rose 18.40 points to 14,062.69 points. Among the 346 stocks that came up for trading on Wednesday, 182 were gainers, 139 losers and 25 stayed unchanged.

The volume rose by 39 per cent to 278m shares on Wednesday, from 197m shares the previous day, but trading value decreased by 4 per cent to Rs5.746 billion, from Rs5.993 billion. Market capitalisation was up by Rs22 to Rs4.307 trillion, from Rs4.285 trillion.

In the list of top traded scrips, Telecard stood on the top place with 43m shares, higher by 59 paisa to Rs4.02. It was followed by Jah Sidd Co which gained 76 paisa to Rs16.76 on 22m shares; PTCL hit the upper circuit to close at Rs18.72 on 22m shares.

NIB Bank gained 25 paisa to Rs2.67 on 21 million shares as several bank shares came into limelight; WorldCall Telecom firmed up by 27 paisa to Rs2.92 on 14m shares; TRG Pakistan edged higher by 16 paisa to Rs7.20 on 14m shares; Fauji Cement declined by 13 paisa to Rs7.82 on 13m shares; Maple Leaf Cement added 14 paisa to Rs17.78 on 9m shares; Descon Oxychem was up by 34 paisa to Rs5.79 on 6m shares and Byco Petroleum eased by 8 paisa to Rs13.91 on 6m shares.

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