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KARACHI: Bulls continued their onslaught for the third day on the stock market with KSE-100 index soaring 898 points (2.20 per cent) to close at 41,796 on Thursday. In the last three sessions it has gained 2,130 points (5.29pc).

The market opened positive and quickly touched intraday high by 400 points as investors rushed to accumulate stocks on the banking, cement, exploration and production and fertiliser sectors in an anguish not to miss out the ongoing pre-budget rally.

The volume rose further by 36pc over the previous day to 337 million shares, representing the highest turnover in the last three months. The traded value also grew 52pc and touched the highest mark since April at Rs13.1 billion.

Stocks that contributed significantly to the volume included K-Electric, Lotte Chemical, Pakistan International Bulk Terminal, Bank of Punjab and Pakistan Oilfields representing nearly a quarter of the day’s turnover.

Several second-tier scrips also hit their upper circuit as small investors were also enticed by low low valuations and the ongoing rally.Commercial banks added 232 points as expectations of higher policy rates kept investors bullish on the sector. Others reflecting heavy gains included cement, increasing by 127 points, exploration and production 123 points, oil and gas marketing companies 87 points and fertiliser 84 points.

Cement sector extended the previous day’s gains with recent price increase being the main catalyst. On the banking front, the slowdown in foreign selling helped lift Habib Bank and United Bank. Foreign selling clocked in at $7.1m.

Stock-wise, major gainers were HBL, up 2.86pc, UBL 3.84pc, Lucky Cement 4.06pc, Pakistan Petroleum 2.18pc and Engro Corpora­tion 2.12pc, adding 284 points.

Published in Dawn, July 20th, 2018