KARACHI: Stocks continued their ascent on Friday, with the KSE-100 index rising by 325 points (or 0.63 per cent) to close at a new all-time high of 51,751.

Investors continued to take fresh positions despite the weekend ahead as the MSCI upgrade euphoria refused to subside.

The volume of shares traded on Friday fell 13pc to 347 million shares. Summit Bank was the volume leader, followed by K-Electric and Byco Petroleum which together accounted for 76m shares in aggregate volume.

Ahsan Mehanti of Arif Habib Corporation said the stocks closed higher led by blue-chip oil, banking and fertiliser stocks as investors speculated in the pre-budget rally at Pakistan Stock Exchange. Higher global crude prices, upbeat data on car sales for July-April and speculations ahead of MSCI emerging-market inclusions played a catalyst role in the record close, he said.

Major gainers on Friday were Engro Pakistan which rose 1.8pc, MCB Bank 1.97pc, Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDC) 1.42pc, Pakistan State Oil 2.46pc and Hub Power Company 1.33pc, and cumulatively contributed 128 points to the index.

On the flip side, Habib Bank Ltd fell 0.41pc, Searle 1.15pc and Maple Leaf Cement 1.35pc, taking away 33 points off the index.

Steel was the king of the ring on Friday with all the shares in the sector closing in green. INIL rallied 4.79pc on material information pertaining to award of contract by Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Ltd (SNGPL) for supply of API line pipes worth Rs2.67bn. Inter­national Steels Ltd rose 2.72pc, Mughal Iron and Steel 1.45pc and Amreli Steels 0.40pc.

Crescent Steel hit the upper circuit after release of material information of award of contract by SNGPL for supply of 36-inch bare pipes valued at Rs1.172bn.

Published in Dawn, May 13th, 2017

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