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KARACHI: Stocks staged a surprisingly strong rebound on Tuesday with the KSE-100 index winding up the day’s trading on a gain of 875 points (2.20 per cent) at 41,339 points.

With mutual funds slowing down their sell-off, high net-worth individuals, traders and punters entered to lead the participants with net purchases by ‘individuals’ amounting to $7.6 million.

The market opened positive and recovered all of the previous day’s losses, hitting the intraday high by 998 points. While the institutions remained on the sidelines, unwilling to take new positions, short-term traders bought low valuation scrips in the hope of pre-empting the possible post-election rally.

The volume surged 75pc over the earlier day to 191m shares while the traded value increased 30pc to reach Rs7.74 billion. Pakistan International Bulk Terminal, Bank of Punjab, Engro Polymer and Chemical, K-Electric came out as the volume leaders.

Sectors contributing to the rally included banks, higher by 187 points, exploration and production 154 points, fertiliser 125 points, cement 117 points and oil and gas marketing companies 72 points.

Investors’ interest rema­ined skewed towards cement and steel with Lucky Cement, DG Khan Cement and Maple Leaf Cement finishing close to their upper circuits. Similarly, Interna­tional Steels, Amreli Steels and Mughal Steels also attracted buyers’ attention and closed at their respective upper limits. Explor­ation and production sector closed higher as crude oil prices edged higher in the international market.

Major heavyweights Pak­is­­tan Petroleum, up 2.6pc, Pakistan Oilfields 3.5pc, Lu­c­ky Cement 3.5pc, Habib Bank 1.7pc and Engro Corporation 2.3pc cumulatively contributed 237 points.

Optimism can continue on the back of timely general elections today, especially if any single party gains majority seats in the National Assembly. The market will remain closed today.

Published in Dawn, July 25th, 2018