Stocks manage to add 67 points

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KARACHI: Stock were driven high in early trade on Thursday on the rally in international oil prices and the Fed’s comment of deferring hike in US interest rates. The KSE-100 index initially shot up by 225 points, but later succumbed to profit-taking and closed up by 66.67 points at 32,957.75.

Foreign investors sold stocks worth $1.21 million, taking year-to-date outflow to $89.16m.

Traded volume was down 21pc to 143m shares while value was up 7pc to Rs8.7 billion.

Byco Petroleum was the day’s volume leader, closing at its ‘upper-circuit’ on the back of material information disseminated in the market that meeting of its board will be held on March 24 to consider possible merger of Byco Terminal Pakistan Ltd into its parent company Byco Oil Pakistan Ltd.

Investor interest was seen in HTL (up 5pc), as its board gave a go ahead to establish an oil marketing company and procure license from Ogra in this regard.

Towards the end, OGDC (up 2.24pc), PPL (2.35pc) and POL (3.08pc) managed to contribute 71 points.

Fertiliser sector eroded 49 points as FFC (down 1.43pc) and EFERT (2.64pc) closed in the red zone owing to lower expected despatches during February.

Fatima fertiliser once again closed down 5pc as the stock remained under pressure from investors following the announcement of CY15 earnings per share of Rs4.41 and no dividend, which dampened investors’ sentiments.

Spike in crude prices and speculations ahead of SBP policy rate decisions played a catalyst role in positive close despite reports of falling exports and weak fertilisers off-take, said analyst Ahsan Mehanti.

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