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KARACHI: The stock market snapped four-day losing streak on Monday as the bulls staged a robust rally with the KSE-100 index recovering 399.66 points (0.93 per cent) to close at 43,410.93.

Market started off sideways in the morning session, said analysts at JS Global. However, it gathered momentum on the back of the cement sector, which lifted the index to intraday high of 468 points.

“Cement sector remained in spotlight as manufacturers once again raised cement prices by Rs10 per bag,” stated Topline Securities. The sector added 110 points to the index gain. Fauji Cement and Maple Leaf Cement grew by 3.08pc and 2.64pc, respectively.

Exploration and production further fuelled the bullish fire with contribution of 80 points, as crude oil prices were up $2 per barrel due to reduced US drilling activity. Steel stocks gained momentum as Amreli Steels and Mughal Steels gained 1.6-2pc owing to a rise in local rebar prices by Rs3,000 per tonne (3.5pc).

On the economic front, Pakistan’s trade deficit witnessed an increase of 21pc year-on-year during 8MFY18, imports grew by 17pc, and exports by 12pc.

The volume declined 22 pc over the previous session to 110 million shares while the trade value fell 26pc to Rs4.47 billion. Some individuals and institutions decided to remain on the sidelines as elections to the chairman and deputy chairman of the Senate were in progress during the trading session.

Scrip-wise, top gainers were Oil and Gas Development Company, up 2.1pc, Lucky Cement 2.6pc, United Bank 1.7pc, DG Khan Cement 4.3pc and Pakistan Oilfields 2pc, adding 178 points.

On the flip side, MCB Bank, down 1pc, Nestle Pakistan 0.4pc, Murree Brewery 1.1pc, Ghani Glass Ltd 1.3pc and Jahangir Siddiqui & Co 1.6pc withheld 26 points from the index.

Published in Dawn, March 13th, 2018