KARACHI: The stock market continued northward drive on the first day of Ramazan as the benchmark KSE-100 index added 262.65 points, or 0.58 per cent, to overnight gains closing at 45,311.22 on Wednesday.

The investor optimism was triggered by the positive numbers including the 7.45pc growth in large-scale manufacturing during the first eight months of the current fiscal year and 34pc jump in private sector’s borrowings from banks in 9MFY21 despite Covid-19 challenges suggesting the economic activities are picking up momentum.

Also, according to Arif Habib Ltd (AHL), the proximity to announcement of quarterly corporate results made investors take a positive view on the market. Buying activity was observed in cyclical sectors such as autos, cement and steel.

O&GMCs saw SNGP performing, besides refinery and technology stocks where Netsol hit upper circuit today. Stocks that contributed positively to the index included TRG Pakistan (32 points), Fauji Fertiliser (19 points), HBL (19 points), Lucky Cement (18 points) and Attock Refinery (17 points).

Scrips that contributed negatively were MCB Bank (12 points), Pakistan Oilfields (9 points), Allied Bank (4 points), Kohinoor Textile Mills (3 points) and Unity Foods (3 points).

However, the trading volume dipped 27.7pc to 341.9 million shares from 473.4m the previous day. The traded value also declined by 11pc to $108.5m from $120.7m the other day.

First National Equities (43m shares), Media Times Ltd (20m), Ghani Global Glass (19.4m), TRG Pakistan (19m) and Worldcall Telecom Ltd (16m) contributed 35pc to the total turnover.

Out of 580 total listed, 380 companies were actively traded in the stock market with 219 recorded gains and 137 sustained losses whereas the share price of 24 companies remained unchanged.

Sapphire Fibre recorded the day’s highest gain of Rs47.99 to Rs879.99 followed by AKD Capital which share prices increased by Rs32.97 to Rs475.12.

On the flip side, Nestle Pakistan lost Rs40 to Rs5,810 and Gatro Ind decreased by Rs36.42 to Rs476.

Published in Dawn, April 15th, 2021

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