KARACHI: Stocks stormed ahead on Thursday with KSE-100 index recording a gain of 487.58 points, or 1.51 per cent, to close at a four-week high of 32,736.44.

A bevy of positive news ignited investors’ interest in most sectors. The finance minister’s indicative statement of further rate cut in next monetary policy (due early next month) saw swift rise in stock prices of leveraged sectors.

It was fortified by the increase in international oil prices that saw major stocks on the heavyweight oil and gas sector record substantial gains. Moody’s statement that Pakistan’s credit outlook was improving was an icing on the cake.

Moody’s commented that the recent sale of Habib Bank was credit positive and indicative of reducing external vulnerabilities, brokerage Topline Securities stated.

“We expect a further 50 basis points cut in 2015,” the brokerage speculated.

Trading volume rose to 373 million shares valued at Rs16.6 billion, compared to month-to-date average of 251m shares of Rs13bn. Traded value on Thursday stood at the highest during the month. A day earlier, volume stood at 226m shares of Rs11bn value.

On the oil and gas sector, OGDC was up 2pc, PPL by 3.8pc, POL by 2.8pc, HASCOL by 5pc, PSO by 1.3pc and SHEL closed 2.9pc higher.Although foreigners were net sellers of $2.71m worth stocks, the overseas portfolio inflow a day ago gave confidence to investors. On Thursday foreigners bought $2.8m worth stocks in the chemicals sector while disposing of shares valued at $1.4m and $1.9m in the chemical and banking sectors, respectively.

Fertiliser stocks posted gains as the Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed government’s review petition against the imposition of Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC).

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