KARACHI: Bulls charged with a vengeance on the last trading day of the week, tossing the KSE-100 index up by 147.33 points (0.37 per cent) to close at 40,363.68 points.

Trading on Friday was characterised by a volume of 851 million shares, which was the highest since March 4, 2005.

Second- and third-tier stocks dominated the trading activity, with the top-five volume leaders – each of them being small-cap stocks – contributing 317m shares to the aggregate turnover.

The KSE-100 index staged an intra-day high of 257.08 points, although profit-taking in late hours clipped some of the gains. Foreign investors were net sellers of stocks worth of $3.2m.

Contribution to the upside came from the auto and tractor sectors. Auto sales declined 14pc year-on-year to 17,653 units in August, underpinned by the normalisation of the Rozgar scheme. On a sequential basis, however, auto sales were up 27pc month-on-month because of the new Honda Civic model and the low-base effect attributable to Ramazan/Eid in July.

Honda Atlas Cars and Indus Motor Company closed at their upper circuit (5pc) while Pak Suzuki gained 3.6pc. Tractor sales made a strong comeback in August, as they grew 19pc year-on-year, driven primarily by Millat Tractors, which also closed at its upper lock (5pc).

According to analysts at Intermarket Securities, further contribution to the upside came from Lucky Cement (1.35pc), Pak Pet­roleum (1.34pc), National Foods (5pc) and Pakistan Oilfields (1.72pc) whereas Murree Brewery (-1pc), Hub Power (-1.28pc), Habib Bank (-0.63pc) and MCB Bank (-0.84pc) dragged the index down.

JS Global analyst Nabeel Haroon said the investor interest was seen in the chemical sector on the back of depressed crude oil prices, as the sector closed 2.1pc higher from a day ago. Berger Paints and Akzo Nobel closed on their respective upper circuits and were top performers within the chemical sector.

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