KARACHI: Bulls took control of the stock market on Tuesday empowered by upsurge in prices of pharmaceuticals and automobile assemblers, which were later joined by the cements, fertilisers and a late rally in the exploration and production.

The KSE-100 index opened 23 points in the positive and closed with strong gains of 596.45 points (1.45 per cent) at 41,665.27.

Investors were encouraged to take fresh short and long positions which pushed the traded volume up by 26pc over the previous day to 490 million shares.

The index jumped to intra-day high by 655 points. The relatively peaceful conclusion of the opposition’s protest rally in Multan helped calm investors’ fears. The hike in international crude oil prices in the midst of the session, fortified the global market belief that the OPEC+ ministers meeting may be heading towards consensus on keeping supplies at the current levels and defer extension for months into 2021.

Locally, the Federal Board Revenue reportedly facilitated investors by announcing collection of capital gains tax once a year changing from the current monthly collection, which traders believed could improve liquidity in the hands of investors.

The cement shares received a boost as word went around that the rise in coal prices may be passed on by producers to consumers which might see increase in price per bag of cement by Rs10-15 per bag.

Foreign investors were also major sellers for the second day, disposing off stocks worth $5.48m. Unity Foods (UNITY) topped the volume leaders list on reports that the company is all set to issue a Rs3 billion sukuk to fund its working capital requirements.

Key index movers on Tuesday were Hub Power Company Ltd (Hubco), Engro Corporation Ltd, Pakistan Tobacco, Meezan Bank Ltd, UNITY and Kohinoor Textile Mills Ltd which cumulatively added 213 points to the index.

In the cement sector, Che­rat, Pioneer and Fauji led the gains. Hubco in a late rally carried the index higher. Ste­el stocks continued to climb with Interna­tional Steel Ltd, Amreli Steel Ltd, Intern­ational Industries Ltd and Agha closing in the green.

Published in Dawn, December 2nd, 2020

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