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Stocks rally 307 points ahead of policy rate review

KARACHI: Stocks staged a rally on Thursday that saw the KSE-100 index climb 307.52 points, or 0.67 per cent, to close at 45,984.46.

The market took off on a positive note as investors sought shares for value buying that had turned pretty attractive after massive selling on most days during the week. The index hit intraday high by 467 points and did not fall below the previous day’s close.

Stocks that contributed to the index rise included Lucky Cement (43 points), Engro Corp (27 points), TRG (25 points), KTML (24 points) and BAHL (23 points). Other gainers on the cements and banking sector were Cherat and DG Khan as well as MCB Bank, HBL and UBL. The E&P sector also was all green with gains in POL, PPL and OGDC.

The State Bank of Pakistan is set to announce the monetary policy on Friday, which most believed would be kept unchanged at 7pc given the comfortable current account situation.

The country’s current account posted a deficit of $662m in December breaking a five-month streak of surplus that worked out at $1.18bn.

The market was, however, unruffled by the turn of surplus back to deficit. There was also no nervousness over the opposition holding an anti-Israel rally later in the day.

Investors took heart and were comforted by the government’s renegotiation with power sector on resolution of circular debt, which paved the way for Hubco, Kot Addu and K-Electric to perform. Banking and E&P sectors recovered from selling observed in past two sessions, besides cement sector that performed in anticipation of better quarterly results. Textile sector also attracted investors, as exports have jumped and the government hinted at restoring the zero-rated regime in the upcoming budget.

The trading volume increased 27pc over the previous day to 606.3m shares while the traded value declined by 6pc to Rs17.9bn. KE ruled the volume charts with 143.8m shares as the Sindh High Court dismissed all petitions challenging its privatisation. Other volume leaders, again all second-tier scrips included Hum Network, PIBTL, FFL and Unity Foods, which formed 43pc of total volume.

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