KARACHI: The stock market witnessed unprecedented volatility on Monday, but the KSE-100 index managed to close the post-budget session with a gain of 138.62 points or 0.41pc at 34,151.11.

As was expected, the benchmark index initially spiralled downwards by more than 500 points, though it clawed back and after a massive volatility of 1,096 points between the intra-day high and low, the index closed with sizeable gains.

The traded volume on Monday jumped to 450 million shares which was the highest in 14 months, while the trading value also shot up to Rs22 billion, which was twice the value of shares at Rs11bn traded in the last session.

Foreign investors bought shares of minor $0.55m where the inflow was seen in banks of $1.6m and outflow from cement of $1.7bn; the foreign funds deciding to go against general market trend. Among local participants, banks were conspicuous by huge sell-off of stocks worth $10.55m, while mutual funds bought shares valued at $5.19m at dips.

Analyst Umair Hasan at JS Global commented that investors’ interest centred on the cement sector. Lower discount rates and a healthy PSDP fund, along with housing credits and tax exemptions all proved to be positive for the cement sector where large number of stocks hit their ‘upper circuit’, including CHCC, DGKC, FCCL, FECTC, KOHC, LUCK, MLCF and PIOC.

Analyst Ahsan Mehanti at Arif Habib Corp. stated that the cement, textile and fertiliser stocks closed higher on incentives in the budget, while banks were battered by the levy of super tax and 35 per cent uniform tax on all income sources.Oil sector also remained in green zone throughout the day with POL, PSO, and Shell all attracting investor interest.

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