KARACHI: Stocks resumed the rally on Wednesday as the KSE-100 index rose by 454.88 points, or 1.38 per cent, to 33,490.65.

Profit-taking on certain sectors had pulled the stocks down to attractive levels for the institutional players.

The banking sector, which stood aside as the pariah in the market since the announcement of the cut in interest rate, was the main focus of buyers. This sector alone contributed 44pc to the KSE-100 index gains on Wednesday.

Volumes increased to 354 million shares worth Rs17.6 billion, up from 252m shares of value Rs13.7bn traded the previous day.

Foreign investors took profit by the sale of $2.06m worth stocks. Among local participants, mutual funds continued to re-build its portfolio with net purchases of $4.53m stocks. Banks sold shares valued at $6.21m, which were offset by about an equal purchase by the companies.

Mohammad Rizwan, VP at Topline Securities, observed: “The Chinese president’s visit coupled with ease on Yemen crisis helped investors to take fresh positions. Also smooth conversion of future roll-over to new contract helped sentiments.”

Following signing of development projects with China, cement stocks also rallied with FCCL, DGKC, LUCK, MLCF ending 4.4pc, 2.3pc, 2.5pc and 3pc higher. In the oil and gas sector, HASCOL hit its ‘upper-circuit’ and BYCO posted strong gains of 6.7pc.Among banks, AKBL hit its ‘upper circuit’ after announcing earnings per share of Rs1. BAFL gained 5pc; UBL 3.4pc; MCB 1.2pc and NBP rose by 4.8pc. HBL kept on rallying post secondary public offering and closed with a gain of 5pc.

Analyst Ahsan Mehanti at Arif Habib Corp commented that the index closed bullish on renewed institutional interest led by banking, fertiliser and oil stocks.

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