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Banking, energy stocks lead index to all-time high

Banking, energy stocks lead index to all-time high

KARACHI: The relentless bull market added 354.06 points (or 0.76 per cent) to the benchmark index on Monday to close at another record high of 46,938.59 points.

The index crossed the 47,000-point barrier intraday to hit 47,070.43 points. Including the gains on Monday, the 12-session return on equities now stands at a stunning 10.2pc.

Overall, volumes decreased 0.6pc to 344 million from the preceding session. The value remained flat at Rs19.5 billion.

The index was driven by interest in financial and oil and gas sectors, with HBL contributing to the northward trajectory (4.32pc). PPL and POL also surged 2.12pc and 2.91pc, respectively, backed by higher oil prices as international crude hovered around $53per barrel. These three stocks collectively added 208 points to the index.

Hub Power was up 1.26pc, closing in the green for the second consecutive trading session on the back of an extension in the financial close and implementation agreement for its 660x2MW imported coal-based power plant.

Ahsan Mehanti of Arif Habib Corporation stated that the surge in WTI crude prices, rising banking spreads and speculations ahead of a revised auto policy played the role of a catalyst for the rising benchmark index.

Intermarket Securities noted that the gains were largely underpinned by a recovery in banks, oil and gas, power, insurance and autos.

In addition to HBL and Hub Power, ABL 2.59pc and Adamjee Insurance 5pc managed to stay afloat along with a few stocks from fertiliser and cement sectors. In addition to PPL and POL, MARI (1.64pc) traded deep into the green while National Refinery 0.98pc, Attock Refinery 5pc, PSO 0.36pc and SHEL 0.31pc were also up despite profit-taking.

Autos contributed to overall gains on the back of Pak Suzuki hitting its upper circuit after the company expressed its intention to invest $460m in its second plant. Honda Atlas also rose 5pc amid reports about the launch of a new Honda Accord.

Published in Dawn December 20th, 2016

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