KARACHI, Jan 17: Stocks on Tuesday maintained their upward drive for the second consecutive session and rose across a broad front as investors continued to build-up long positions in cement and bank shares amid reports of shortage of floating stock on some of the counters. Trading volume soared to well above half a billion share mark.

The KSE 100-share index closed the session at 10,165.91 as compared to 10,093.52 a day earlier, up 72.39 points but still below its career-best level of 10,303 hit last year on March 15, followed by a market crash.

Market capital also set a new all-time high record at Rs2,919 billion, as compared to 2,898 billion, up Rs21 billion as massively-capitalized shares rose sharply higher.

Opinions are, however, divided about its future outlook. Some say it is heading to set new records in the coming weeks on the strength of higher corporate earnings, while others are a bit sceptical in the backdrop of political situation and allied tensions.

However, the fact, that the PTCL has again joined the rank of market trend-setters in response to reports of revised deal with the Etisalat, could be the deciding factor in the index’s future forward march because of weightage in it, some others said.

It rose by Rs1.20 at Rs68.05 but the credit for sustaining the upturn largely goes to the cement and bank sectors under the lead of D.G.Khan Cement, Lucky Cement, Bank of Punjab and MCB, while National Bank stayed unchanged.

Analysts said no one could dispute the fact that the market is in an overbought position and could respond to its technical demand in the coming sessions, but chances of last March crash appears to be a bit remote in the backdrop of the corporate scenario.

“The market now seems to be beyond the reach of the general investors,” they said adding ”let the big ones play as they are generally not risk-prone.”

No small investor will buy a 10 rupee share at Rs400, although the scramble for capital gains has pushed the under-valued ones well above Rs100 per share, notably in the cement sector.

Among the leading gainers, Arif Habib Securities and Siemens Pakistan were leading, up Rs20.15 and Rs45, followed by Shell Pakistan, National Refinery, Attock Petroleum, Goodluck Industries, AKD Securities and Dawood Hercules, which posted gains ranging from Rs9 to 17.95.

Unilever Pakistan and Nestle Pakistan, fell by Rs25 and Rs42.25 respectively. Other prominent losers included Fasila Spinning, Sapphire Textiles and Sapphire Fibre, Sanofi-Aventis, Glaxo-SKF, Colgate Pakistan and Thal Industries, off Rs3.95 to Rs7.45.

Trading volume soared to 579m shares from the previous 423m shares as the advancing shares maintained a strong lead over the losing ones at 213 to 176, with 34 shares holding on to the last levels.

D.G.Khan Cement again topped the list of most actives, up Rs5.40 at Rs121.35 on 74m shares followed by PTCL, higher by Rs1.20 at Rs68.05 on 60m shares, Bank of Punjab, up Rs5.35 at Rs112.95 on 47m shares, Fauji Fertiliser Bin Qasim, firm by 20 paisa at Rs40.80 on 46m shares, Lucky Cement, higher Rs4.65 at Rs100.20 on 39m shares, National Bank, steady by 30 paisa at Rs230.50 on 32m shares and MCB, higher by Rs3.45 at Rs196.80 on 31m shares.

Other actives were led by Nishat Mills, up Rs4.60 at Rs123.50 on 29m shares, Fauji Cement, firm 55 paisa at Rs24.10 on 24m shares and Maple Leaf Cement, higher by Rs1.45 at Rs42.60 on 15m shares.

FORWARD COUNTER: Lucky Cement remained in strong demand rose further by Rs4.35 at Rs100.60 on 24m shares, followed by D.G.Khan Cement, firm by Rs5.40 at Rs121.95 on 21m shares and Bank of Punjab, up Rs5.35 at Rs113.50 on 17m shares and National Bank, steady by 10 paisa at Rs231.50 on 13m shares. Some others also rose sharply on light trading.

DEFAULTER COs: Mixed trading pattern was witnessed on this counter where investor rolled positions from one counter to the other amid alternate bouts of buying and selling. Price changes were, however, mostly fractional.

Unity Modaraba and Indus Polyester were leading among the actives, lower five paisa at Rs1.05 and up 10 paisa at Rs5.15 on 0.107m and 0.233m shares respectively. Golden Arrow Selected Stocks, Constellation Modaraba, Meezan Islamic Bank, Meezan Balanced Fund, on Jan 20, Pakistan International Container Terminal, on Jan 21, Pakistan Industrial and Commercial Leasing, on Jan 23,Karim Silk, on Jan 24, Pakistan Paper Products and Lakson Tobacco on Jan 26, and Shell Gas LPG on Feb 1.

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