KARACHI: After range-bound trading between the intraday high and low by 186 and 148 points, the stock market closed in the positive for the second day in the roll-over week with the KSE-100 index recording gains of 137 points, or 0.30 per cent, at 45,544.

Two events made Wednesday’s session at the PSX outstanding. First, except the mutual funds which bought shares valued at $1.36m, the market was supported mainly by purchase worth $4.07m by the foreign investors which was almost entirely — $3.98m worth of equities — was bought by overseas Pakistanis.

Secondly, it was not widely noticed but Tahir Abbas, Head of Research at Arif Habib Ltd, pointed out: “The total traded value at the market rose by 24pc over the previous session to Rs50bn, which represented the highest traded value in the last 13 years, (setting aside the Feb 27, 2008 extraordinarily high value at Rs51bn which was on the day of inclusion of Pakistan Index into the MSCI EM in 2007)”. Mr Abbas mentions that besides the regular market traded value of Rs25.61bn, the traded value in the futures market amounted to Rs24.6bn, taking the total to Rs50.20bn.

Other than that the market pushed forward despite the decline in international markets and heavy fall in international oil prices. Temperature on the political scene also remained high while the country also faced the dire prospect of lockdowns in some cities till April 11 due to rising cases of Covid-19.

In the first half, trading remained slow and range-bound but recovery was witnessed in late second half when scrips in the Refinery and Technology sectors took off. Attock Refinery in the former and TRG and PTCL in the latter closed at their upper circuits.

The E&P sector remained deep in red throughout the day with PPL, OGDC and POL losing values. Aggregate traded volume declined 7pc over the previous session to 410m shares. Scrips that contributed the most to index rise included TRG (119 points), MTL (16 points), ATRL (15 points), PTC (14 points) and Hubco (13 points).

Published in Dawn, March 25th, 2021

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