KARACHI: Stocks went into bullish fervour on Thursday after several encouraging developments. Political tensions were relieved as sit-in at the capital ended peacefully. That, coupled with news of consultation process to include Pakistan in MSCI Emerging Market Index, led to investor interest in stocks.

The KSE-100 index rallied by 216.60 points (0.7 per cent) to close at 33,139.

“The index gained 5.64pc in March, which is the highest monthly increase during the last five months. Foreigners were net sellers of $11.3m but the outflow was lowest (month-wise) since July 2015,” calculated analysts at Topline Securities.

PAEL (fell 2.1pc) announced year-end results, reporting earnings per share (diluted) of Rs5.8 which was thought to be lower than market expectations.

Thal Ltd rose 3.4pc after it announced a possible venture into coal-based power generation.

The banking sector was the major contributor towards the day’s gains. MCB (+1.52pc), BAFL (+2.74pc) and HBL (+0.3pc). Other sectors that remained upbeat included cements, fertilisers and autos.

Major contribution to upside came from NESTLE, MCB and ENGRO adding 77 points to the index. Cement sector was strong with DGKC (+1.28pc) and PIOC (+2.26pc).

Negativity prevailed in the oil and gas sector, amid depressed global crude prices with the exception of PSO and MARI. MARI (+2.93pc) rallied on the back of hydrocarbon discoveries and PSO (+0.90pc) gained in anticipation of inventory gains as domestic petroleum prices are set to increase.

Star performer of the fertiliser sector was ENGRO (+1.52pc).

“Stocks closed bullish led by selected blue-chip scrips across the board as investors speculate ahead of CPI inflation data for March 2016,” commented Ahsan Mehanti.

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