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KARACHI: Bears were mauled down by the bulls on Tuesday who tossed the KSE-100 index up by 504.74 points (1.11 per cent) to 45,876.70, just 50 points short of the intraday high.

Market participants fumbled for reasons for the strong rally and several attributed it to traditional pre-budget buying. Others thought that the index was taking a firm start on back of gains in the exploration and production (E&P) sector with higher international crude prices helping to lift the market.

While the National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance unanimously rejected two amnesty bills for declaration of domestic and foreign assets, investors threw caution to the wind and continued to accumulate shares in heavyweight banking, cement, fertiliser and oil and gas marketing companies (O&GMCs).

Fertilisers gained on reports of higher urea prices while further weakening of the rupee helped E&P sector. Generally better than expected result announcements from some key companies contributed to investors’ confidence. Foreigners also did a bit of cherry-picking, represented in net buying of $0.50 million worth stocks.

Fauji Fertiliser Bin Qasim closed at its upper lock as the company announced intention of additional equity investment amounting to Rs1.5 billion in Fauji Meats, coupled with subordinated loan of Rs3.5bn to the company. Ghandhara Nissan Ltd succumbed to selling pressure on notification of a right issue.

The volume rose 37pc over the earlier day to 154m shares while the traded value surged 70pc to Rs9.24bn as blue-chip stocks garnered investors’ attention. The leaders were Pak Elektron, Engro Polymer, Fauji Foods and Lotte Chemical.

Among sectors, banks contributed 118 points to the index rise, followed by E&P at 89 points, O&GMCs 66 points, fertiliser 52 points and cement 50 points.

Major gainers were Lucky Cement, up 2.29pc, Oil and Gas Development Company 1.76pc, United Bank 1.90pc, Habib Bank 1.21pc and Pakistan State Oil 3.56pc, adding 185 points. On the flip side, Bank Alfalah, down 1.87pc and Pak Elektron 4.15pc took away 22 points.

Published in Dawn, April 25th, 2018