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KARACHI: Stocks maintained the positive momentum on Tuesday with the KSE-100 index notching up gains of 490.10 points (1.27 per cent) and closing at 39,052.50.

As the political temperatures simmered down, it helped calm investors’ nerves, who began buying attractively valued scrips. On the economic side, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtyar put the figure of 12th Five-Year Plan (2018-23) GDP growth rate at a robust 5.8pc.

The announcement of $6.2 billion package from UAE was also thought to take care of the current account deficit in the near future. Moreover, reports of upcoming supplementary budget to aim at import compression and revenue collection furthered garnered investor interest.

Selling was seen mainly by insurance companies, which according to National Clearing Company sold shares worth $4.18 million. Foreign investors, individuals and other banks and financial institutions were generally quiet, but mutual funds cherry-picked stocks of $1.62m and brokers also bought shares valued at $2.57m.

The volume increased 6pc to 166m shares, while the traded value jumped 16pc to reach Rs8.12bn, reflecting investors focus shifting from second-tier stocks to blue-chip scrips.

Sectors-wise, exploration and production added the most at 202 points on buying on the back of rising international crude oil prices. With the government releasing a notification to immediately halt the import of furnace oil, refinery sector closed in the green, led by Byco Petroleum gaining 6.16pc, Attock Refinery 5pc, Pakistan Refinery 5pc and National Refinery 1.9pc. Investors’ interest was witnessed in the cement sector on declining coal prices where major players ended in green.

Major contribution to the index upside came from Pakistan Petroleum, up 4.79pc, Oil and Gas Development Company 2.99pc, Pakistan Oilfields 2.74pc, Fauji Fertiliser 2.06pc and Lucky Cement 1.97pc, together adding 232 points.

Published in Dawn, January 9th, 2019