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Stocks march past 40,000 level

KARACHI: Stocks extended rally into the second day with the KSE-100 index recording a massive surge of 816.67 points (2.06 per cent) and closing above the 40,000-level at 40,531.13.

Although the index has more than offset the declines of 847points seen on Tuesday, it has still to make up for the nearly 10pc meltdown from 43,800 that the benchmark had managed to reach in a bullish rally that began in August 2019 to 39,297 on Monday.

Insight Securities CEO Zubair Ghulam Hussain affirmed that the major reason for market downside was the investors’ concern over the inflation figures for January which came at 14.6pc, higher than street expectations of 13.5-14pc.

He said that going forward, the market expects a decline in inflation due to drop in oil prices. Traders said the return of optimism in the last two days could be due to reports of the International Monetary Fund agreeing to trim down the revenue collection target to Rs4.9 trillion from Rs5.2tr set earlier.

Mutual funds were major buyers of $5.04 million worth of stocks which was offset by foreigners selling of shares valued at $4.92m. Several strategists suggested that sentiments triumphed over news flow.

Regular commentators ascribed the market upturn to value buying witnessed ahead of the results season. Traded value stood higher by 25pc at $49m while volume came in at 180m shares, up 12pc. Major contribution to total turnover came from Hascol Petroleum, Maple Leaf Cement, Unity Foods, Pakistan International Airlines, DG Khan Cement and Bank of Punjab.

Scrip-wise, major gainers were MCB, higher by 3.4pc, Engro Corporation 2.7pc, Lucky Cement 4.3pc, Oil and Gas Development Company 2.9pc, Pakistan Petroleum 2.6pc, Hub Power 2.1pc and Habib Bank 1.4pc, which cumulatively added 360 points to the index.

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