KARACHI: The index continued its northward journey, ending in the black for the seventh successive time and sustaining its level above 31,000.

At close, the Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index increased 0.07% or 21.80 points to end at 31,303.63.

Eilixir Securities analyst Harris Ahmed Batla said oil stocks traded in the red on low volumes despite recovery in international oil prices with the exception of Oil and Gas Development Company OGDC (PA +.55%),  that continued to attract institutional interest.

“Government’s intention to cut gas supply in the Punjab region dented sentiments for Punjab-based textiles namely Nishat Mills Ltd. (NML PA -1.02%) and Nishat Chunian Ltd. (NCL PA -2.09%) while Engro Corporation (ENGRO PA +2.19%),  that remained laggard in the recent rally, sneaked its way in the green,” said Batla.

“Volumes chart remained dominated by small cap retail plays to the likes of Pakistan Telecom PTC PA +1.24%, Jehangir Siddiqui Co. Ltd. JSCL PA -.65% and Pakistan International Airline PIAA PA +1.12%.”

Batla expected the market to remain volatile at highs and target 32,000 in the short run.

Meanwhile, JS Global analyst Ovais Ahsan said the banking sector saw good volumes with Bank-Al-Habib leading the turnover over chart.

“Explosives maker Biafo Industries (+5%) continued to hit its upper limit after reporting stellar growth in earnings. Engro Corporation (+2%) was among the biggest positive contributors to the index gaining on expectations of a turnaround in multiple lines of business.

“The underlying tone of the market is expected to remain bullish on the back of a tame inflation outlook which has increased the chance of a 100bps cut in the policy rate this month,” Ahsan concluded.

Trade volumes fell to 222 million shares compared to 330 million on Monday.

Shares of 419 companies were traded on Tuesday. Of these, 212 companies declined, 186 closed higher while 21 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs13 billion.

Bank Al-Habib was the volume leader with 10.5 million shares, losing Rs0.22 to close at Rs49.78. It was followed by Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) with 8.7 million shares, gaining Rs0.26 to close at Rs21.16 and Jahangir Siddiqui and Company with 8.7 million shares, losing Rs0.08 to close at Rs12.23.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs432 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.

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