KARACHI: Stocks continued their northbound journey in a volatile session on Wednesday, helped by the heavyweight banking and oil sectors. The benchmark KSE-100 index gained 327 points, or 0.7 per cent, to close at 46,185 points, setting a new record high.
Overall, the volume of shares traded on Wednesday fell 6pc to 361 million while the value decreased 14pc to Rs19 billion. Foreigners made hefty selling for the second day amounting to $10.9m, which was absorbed by the local financial institutions and mutual funds.
Habib Bank was up 1.82pc while Pakistan Petroleum and Pakistan Oilfields hit their upper circuits. Cumulatively, the three stocks added 190.7 points to the index.
According to analysts at Intermarket Securities, the day started amid profit-taking in cements, banks, oil and gas, fertilisers, steel, glass and textile. The selling converted into a mini sell-off with leveraged holders dumping positions to bring the index down by 255.25 points.
The index, however, recovered off its lows and then went further north to post a fresh all-time intraday high. Gains to the upside were also underpinned by recovery in select banks, cements, autos and steel.
Major support to the index came from exploration and production sector with total contribution of 181 points as crude oil prices touched a one-year high after non-Opec countries reached accord with Opec countries to cut oil production by more than 500,000 barrels a day, said Abra Juma, on sales desk of Global Securities.
Sui Northern Gas Pipelines closed at its upper circuit of 5pc.
Nabeel Haroon at JS Global observed that intraday rally was witnessed in cements as the sector gained to close 0.7pc higher over its previous day’s close.
Maple Leaf Cement increased 4.33pc and DG Khan Cement rose 2.26pc and were top performers. Moving forward, the Federal Reserve decision on interest rate direction could set the tone of the market, said the analyst.