KARACHI: Stocks rema­ined range-bound on Wednes­day as profit-taking restricted KSE-100 index to a gain of 34 points to close at 37,426.

Volumes increased two per cent to 143 million shares while traded value remained relatively flat at Rs7.8 billion. Due to the Engro Fertiliser private placement, net foreign buying scaled to $76m on Wednesday.

K-Electric and Fauji Cement again were volume leaders with combined volume of 38m shares. “Rally was witnessed in the oil sector on the back of global crude oil prices trading above $51.50 after US inventory numbers clocked in lower than expected for the third consecutive week,” Analyst Ahmed Saeed Khan at JS Global said. “Major index movers on the oil and gas sector were OGDC and PSO.”

Positivity prevailed in the automobile sector after the government decided to tighten procedures on the import of used cars. Top performer of the sector was PSMC (up 0.36pc). Marginal positivity prevailed in the cement sector on the back of 18.5pc year-on-year growth in domestic cement despatches for the month of May. Star performer of the sector was FCCL (up 3.96pc).

“Contribution to the upside on Wednesday came from FML, FCCL, PSEL, PIBTL and OGDC, adding 122 points to the KSE-100 index while MCB, HBL, FFC, PPL and ABOT brought it down by 79 points,” calculated analysts at Intermarket Securities.

From sector perspective, refineries, pharmaceuticals, textiles, glass and insurance faced the brunt of profit-taking, whereas performance of cements, exploration and production, banks, autos, fertilisers, power and steel remained mixed while major contribution to the upside came from oil marketing companies, multi-utilities and food.

Analyst Ahsan Mehanti said that speculations ahead of MSCI upgrade of the PSX provided impetus to the positive close.

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