KARACHI: The benchmark KSE-100 index closed a shade below the 43,000 mark on Friday, adding 49.93 po­­ints (0.12pc) to close at a new all-time high of 42,9­99.66.

The session was marked by volatility with the benchmark index moving between an intraday high of 117 poi­nts and a low of 43 points. Profit-taking was noticed ma­­­i­­nly in the last hour of the session due to the Friday factor.

Volumes remained little changed at 502 million shares on Friday compared to 564m shares during the previous day. The trading value rose to Rs18.4 billion from Rs14.7bn.

Market participation was once again prominent in retail favourites as bulk of the trading activity took place in Amtex Ltd, Media Times, Sui Southern Gas Company, Bank of Punjab and Azgard Nine. Trading in these scrips collectively acc­o­unted for 119.2m shares.

Foreign selling on Friday amounted to $2.02m, which was absorbed mainly by the local capital protected mut­ual funds.

Analysts at Sunrise Capital (Pvt) Ltd stated that regardless of the positive closure the previous day which helped market to kick-start on a firm note, decline in foreign exchange reserves and selling by foreigners washed away a big chunk of day’s gains.

“Market continued its positive momentum during the initial hours of the trade but soon investors opted for profit-taking due to the last day of the rollover week,” analysts at JS Global said.

Cements, textile and fertilisers staged a comeback af­ter the Economic Coor­dination Committee appro­ved reduction of gas price for industries.

Major contribution to the index upside came from consumer discretionary (1.03pc), materials (0.61pc) and telecommunication (0.17pc) whi­le utilities were down 1.13pc.

Analysts at Intermarket Securities said major contribution to index gains came fr­om Lucky Cement which rose 1.44pc, Nishat Mills Ltd 2.3pc, Kohinoor Textile 2.81pc, Fauji Fertiliser 0.71pc and Ghani Glass Ltd 5pc adding 68 points.

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