KARACHI: The stock market cheered the herald of the New Year with a spectacular rally that saw the KSE-100 index accumulate massive gains of 664.92 points (1.63 per cent) and close above the 41,000-level at 41,400.

The index opened at 40,735.08 and did not look back, surging to intraday high by 809 points. It maintained the rising momentum that started in August last year and after wiping out all the red, provided a return of 10pc.

Investors’ optimism continued as they saw the market back in the green after two earlier dismal years of negative returns. Market sentiments also improved as inflation for November was in line with the street consensus. Moreover, tax collection amounted to Rs2.080 trillion for 1HFY20, higher by 16.95pc.

Buying activity was observed across the board especially in banking, cement and fertiliser. Banks, which had been offloading for the last many days, began building fresh portfolio with the highest net buying of $4.70 million. Mutual Funds also acquired shares of $1.07m.

Individuals, who had triggered the recent rally, took profit at higher levels through sale of shares valued at $4.09m. Foreigners also sold stocks worth $.188m as investors waited international funds to begin new-year buying.

The volume increased by a sizeable 86pc over the previous day to 331m shares. Major contribution came from K-Electric which saw highest of 119m shares while Unity Foods, Fauji Foods, Avanceon and TRG Pakistan followed. Traded value also increased by 14pc to reach $52.1m.

Stocks that led the rise included Engro Corporation, higher by 2.6pc, Habib Bank 3.5pc and United Bank 4.1pc, which together added 225 points to the index. Other prominent gainers were K-Electric, up 8.9pc, Pakis­tan Stock Exchange 6.2pc and Fauji Fertiliser Bin Qasim 5.1pc. Few scrips that dragged down the index included Pakistan Tobacco, lower by 4.9pc, Hub Power 0.5pc and Shell Pakistan 5pc.

Published in Dawn, January 2nd, 2020