KARACHI: Stocks rallied for the fifth consecutive session on Monday with the KSE-100 index up by 338.21 points, or 1.08 per cent, to 31,752.17.

Including the previous week’s recovery of 1,456 points, the KSE index has recouped 1,794 points, or nearly all of the loss of 1,842 points suffered during the preceding week.

Volumes traded on Monday stood at 241 million shares of trading value at Rs13.8 billion, compared to 285m shares worth Rs12.7bn traded in the previous session. Foreign investors again finished as net sellers of $3.72m worth stocks with outflows of $1.2m from cement and $1m from banking sectors.

Investors’ confidence seemed to have returned with the improvement in economic indicators combined with the thaw in political situation as the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) decided to join the ongoing session of the parliament.Among local participants, banks offloaded stocks of $4.55m, while local funds absorbed much of the sell-off with net purchases of $7.62m.

Brokerage Topline Securities pointed out that several shares continued to show strong performance. JSCL and PAEL closed at their ‘upper limits’ for the fifth consecutive day although for different reasons. Engro Foods also rose to its ‘upper cap’ as investors were said to be anticipating better March 2015 earnings.

The major news flow included the fixing of the floor price for Habib Bank (HBL) at Rs166 per share by the Privatisation Commission. Bidding for the stock has been scheduled from April 7-10, 2015.

Analyst Ahsan Mehanti at Arif Habib Corp commented that the market saw another bullish session as investors speculated on corporate earnings growth ahead of quarter end results announcements. Trade remained high led by fertiliser, cement and telecom scrips on strong valuations.

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