KARACHI: After a brief respite on Wednesday, stocks continued to rally with the KSE-100 index posting gain of 167.06 points or 0.56 per cent on Thursday to settle at 29,858.37.

Although local participants were cautious and most opted to take profit at current high levels, the market remained strong, drawing its strength from heavy foreign participation over the week.

On Thursday, the foreign portfolio inflow was relatively low at $0.59 million. The rally was therefore led by the unlikely mutual funds who bought equity worth $5.26m.

A senior broker explained that local individual and institutional investors had been waiting for values to come down to re-build portfolios.

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“Yet, faces are crestfallen as the index has continued its run up regardless of floods and the long-drawn out protest sit-ins”, he chuckled visibly amused. The mutual funds managing public cash could no longer remain on the sidelines and took an entry on Thursday to invest part of available funds.

Analyst Arhum Ghous stated that the index witnessed mixed sentiment on Thursday, with significant volumes of 161m shares. Top picks for the day were PAEL, DGKC and KEL.

Ahsan Mehanti at Arif Habib Corp. observed that stocks closed higher led by second and third tier scrips on strong valuations. Expected rise in cement sales in upper Punjab, strong earnings outlook in auto and pharma sectors played a catalyst role in bullish activity despite concerns for falling revenues of LDI operators in telecom sector on unresolved ICH pricing dispute.

Brokerage Sunrise Capital said that the stocks took off on a positive note and keep the rising trend throughout the day. Cements were in demand as LUCK, KOHC and DGKC extended their earlier gains by 0.70pc, 4.22pc and 3.91pc.

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