KARACHI: Stocks staged a spectacular comeback on Thursday as the KSE-100 index vaulted upwards by 787.78 points, or 1.79 per cent, to close at 44,741.36.

The market opened gap up and continued to reclaim the previous day’s losses which were mainly due to heavy foreign selling of over $10m. Foreign funds’ outflow on Thursday dipped to $1.37m. Although the individuals spooked by the bear rampage a day earlier decided to wait a while with net sale of $1.79m, other local participants including companies, mutual funds, brokers and insurance companies wrestled to pick up equities which were available at cheap valuations. The index settled slightly short of the intraday high of 805 points.

The investors also took heart from the government’s efforts to curtail the spread of Covid-19 and the ongoing vaccinations. On the political front, the Opposition did not trigger much of a headwind to discomfort the government.

Relating to the economy, the extension in debt servicing by G20 had a positive effect on investor sentiments which received a push from the slight decline in cut-off yields in the T-bill auction held a day earlier. Investors also pinned hopes on improved corporate results which are about to be released. All of that induced institutional investors to accumulate stocks in anticipation.

Buying was witnessed across the board. Sector-wise, major contribution to the market surge came from Banks (135 points), technology (121 points), cement (118 points), fertiliser (59 points) and E&P (55 points). The investors interest for much of the day centered on the cement, steel, banks and technology sector stocks.

The scrips that provided the major support to the index were TRG (111 points), Lucky Cement (49 points), DAWH (42 points), Engro (37 points), and HBL (35 points).

On the other side, the declines were only symbolic with Abbott and Indus Motor losing four points each, followed by loss of between one and 2pc by IGIHL, Shifa Hospital and Byco.

The traded volume inched up by 383m shares while the value declined 12pc to $133m. Ghani Global, TRG, Byco Petroleum, Lotte Chemical and Pakistan Refinery contributed 35pc to the total turnover.

Published in Dawn, April 9th, 2021

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