KARACHI: Bullish momentum continued for the third consecutive day at the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) on Thursday as the benchmark KSE-100 index rose 234.36 points (0.70 per cent) to 34,503.64, just a stone’s throw from its highest-ever level achieved on Nov 4, 2015.

This happened despite a significant sell-off within the region and in European markets — all signs pointing towards the index gearing up for a potential upgrade to emerging market status.

The index has rallied 819 points, or 2.41pc, during the last three sessions, breaking out of its consolidation range.

The volume on Thursday increased 5pc to 270 million shares while value rose 16pc to Rs 14.5 billion.

Retail favourites dominated the volumes chart. It was a result-based rally that saw the banking sector stocks in the limelight with MCB Bank (MCB), Habib Bank (HBL) and United Bank (UBL) rising between 0.8 and 2.3pc. Cumulatively, the scrips added 40 points to the index’s gain.

The Hub Power Company (HUBC) gained 3.3pc after it announced a surprise dividend in its January-March quarter results.

The biggest contributor towards the rally was HUBC (which rose 3.3pc) as the stock garnered investors’ attention after announcing a surprise dividend alongside its quarterly result.

The Oil and Gas Development Company Ltd (OGDC) added 2.82pc. Commercial banks also bolstered market’s momentum with the top four banks contributing 94 points.

Analysts noted that the major contribution to the upside came on the back of gains in index heavyweights like HUBC, HBL, OGDC, DAWH and UBL, contributing a gain of 204 points.

On the flip side, PPL, FFC and LUCK took away 45 points.

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