KARACHI: Bulls continued to lead the rally for fifth day in a row with KSE-100 index moving further north by 219.64 points (0.61 per cent) on Friday to close at 35,978.16. In the last seven sessions, the index has accumulated 2,217 points or 6.57pc.

But like the earlier day, the index was carried forward entirely by heavy buying of $5.59m worth of shares by foreigners. The announcement of MSCI review could have played a role in entry of some passive funds since market was generally expecting an exclusion from the index, which did not happen.

On the contrary, the review proved largely to be a non-event, which could have given confidence to foreigners who took stakes in large cap banks and exploration and production (E&P) companies, particularly MCB, Habib Bank, Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDC) and Pakistan Petroleum.

But apart from the foreign buyers, all local institutional and individual participants turned out to be net sellers, which raised some concerns of the continuation of the rally going forward. On the political front, there was stalemate in talks between the government and the opposition over the sit-in in Islamabad.

Other news flow that dissuaded locals from carrying heavy positions over the weekend included the possibility of retaining Pakistan on the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) grey list for a protracted period, as it may be handed over yet another action plan for implementation for one to three years on the basis of a recently approved Mutual Evaluation Report (MER).

The index made intraday high of 290 points. Sector-wise, cement and steel continued trading in red and kept the index under pressure while E&P and banking were major gainers.

Among scrips, upside came from MCB, higher by 1.91pc, United Bank 2.01pc, Dawood Hercules 2.98pc, OGDC 1.49pc and Engro Corporation 1.20pc.

Published in Dawn, November 9th, 2019