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KARACHI: Stocks turned bullish on Thursday as the KSE-100 index gained 168.59 points (0.43 per cent) to recoup all of the losses incurred a day earlier. The index closed at 39,090.28 after hitting intraday peak by 304 points.

The fuel that fired investors’ buying interest were the reports that the Financial Action Task Force had expressed a degree of satisfaction over Pakistan’s efforts and action plan to combat money laundering and terror financing under international obligations and indicated certain areas to do more before May this year to move out of the grey list.

The positive development did not quite allay the investors’ concerns over the supplementary budget expected to be presented in on Jan 17-18, which is why the index moved both ways but the bulls supported the benchmark throughout the day at above the 39,000 level.

According to figures released by National Clearing Company of Pakistan, insurance companies mopped up much of the liquidity with net buying of $1.66m worth shares.

Volume declined further declined 16pc to 111.9m shares while the traded value fell 22pc to $33m. Stocks that contributed significantly included Bank of Punjab, Worldcall Telecom, Pak Elektron, K-Electric and Sui Southern Gas Company, which together accounted for 36pc of total turnover.

The rise in crude oil prices led to another day of encouraging performance by exploration and production stocks where all three major stocks gained to add more than 140 points to the index.

Commercial banks contributed 48 points, where MCB, Habib, United and Allied Bank were leading gainers. Cement sector remained under the hammer as investors opted to book profits as major players such as DG Khan, Fauji, Maple Leaf and Pioneer Cement all closed in the red.

Major contribution to the index upside came from Pakistan Petroleum, up 3.29pc, Oil and Gas Development Company 2.39pc, Engro Corporation 1.30pc, Pakistan Oilfields 1.93pc and Pakistan Tobacco 2.91pc, adding 183 points. On the flip side, Pakistan Services dipped 5pc, taking away 28 points.

Published in Dawn, January 11th, 2019