KARACHI: Stocks gained on Monday as neutral-to-positive budgetary measures propelled prices in sector-specific stocks. The KSE-100 index closed up 129.27 points (0.35 per cent) at 37,352.27.

The ongoing rally, which started on Feb 23 after the index dipped to its intraday low at 30,275 points, had already provided gains of 23.4pc to investors in just 75 trading sessions.

Volumes dropped by 10.3pc to 227 million shares on Monday while value decreased by 16.7pc to Rs11.9 billion. After several successive sessions on net buying, foreign investors sold stocks worth $0.30m on Monday. Among local participants, mutual funds went on selling spree but it was absorbed by ‘individuals’.

“Pakistan’s likely inclusion in MSCI Emerging Markets index to be announced on 14th of this month and overall market neutral annual budget continued to prop local bourse to new highs,” stated analysts at Topline Securities.

Fertiliser sector witnessed investors’ interest as FML gained 5pc, FFC 3.8pc, FFBL 4.1pc Engro 2pc and DAWH 3.17pc.

“Major upside came from gains in sectors benefiting from incentives announced in the budget. Fertilisers, refineries and pharmaceuticals along with select autos and textiles remained on investors’ radar and contributed towards index gains.”

“Similarly, as anticipated, downside pressure stemmed from selling in glass, cements, food, banks, insurance and select E&P companies,” said analysts at Intermarket Securities.

On the flip side, profit-taking was witnessed in UBL down 1.42pc, Kapco 2.98pc, OGDC 1.05pc and FCCL 3.69pc. Analyst Ahsan Mehanti at Arif Habib Corp commented that positive sentiments on likely MSCI upgrade, falling leverage costs and record allocation of Rs1.6tr for development spending plans in the federal budget played a catalyst role in bullish close

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