KARACHI: Starting out on a shaky note, the KSE-100 index took an intra-day plunge of 101.29 points on Thursday. Yet, the index bounced back to mark the fourth successive session of positive closes, up 207.54 points (0.53 per cent) to a new all-time high of 39,257.

Volumes fell 16pc to 165 million shares and traded value decreased 24pc to Rs11.6 billion over the previous day.

After four consecutive days of net foreign buying, overseas investors decided to trim their positions by selling stocks worth $3.9m on Thursday.

From a sector perspective, autos and pharmaceuticals held investors’ interests. Cements continued to perform on the back of robust local despatches; Fauji Cement Company (FCCL), D.G. Khan Cement (DGKC) and Maple Leaf Cement (MLCF) clocked gains in the range of 1.0-2.4pc. Analyst Ahmed Saeed Khan at JS Global stated that the banking sector remained upbeat despite a decline of 20bps in Thursday’s Pakistan Investment Bonds auction, which is indicative of the direction of interest rates in the future. HBL (+2.80pc) led the banking sector and was the biggest index mover of the day.

“Investor interest remained thin in E&P names and among OMCs HASCOL managed to close up on its upper circuit; clocking in a combined return of 14.6pc in just 4 sessions” noted analysts at Intermarket Secu­rities. They calculated that from a contribution to index perspective HBL, HUBC, LUCK, ABOT and MCB added 158 points while FML, DAWH, KAPCO, PPL and PAKT took away 114 points.

Ahsan Mehanti at Arif Habib Corp observed that the stocks closed at all time high on Thursday on investor speculation in the earning season.

“The auto sector continued to post gains with INDU and HCAR gaining 4.86pc and 4.65pc, respectively, on the back of weakening JPY and higher than expected car sales numbers”, said dealers at Global Securities.

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