KARACHI: As the clouds of an armed conflict between Pakistan and India subsided, nervous investors who had sought quick exit a day ago started to return. The KSE-100 index recovered 364 points, or 0.91 per cent, on Thursday and raced past the 40,000 level once again to close at 40,135.31.
Asian stocks rallied after the US Federal Reserve’s decision to keep its key interest rate on hold. Incidentally, the Mumbai Stock Exchange took no notice of the heightened hostilities with its neighbour and continued to climb both on Wednesday and Thursday.
The volume of shares traded at the Pakistan Stock Exchange fell 5pc to 659 million shares on Thursday while the value dropped by 10.5pc to Rs17 billion. Second and third tier stocks resumed their roll of being the top-traded stocks as six of the 10 were priced below par value of Rs10.
“Habib Bank (HBL) and the Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDC) were among the major contributors to the index as they added 82 points cumulatively,” dealers at Topline Securities said. The banking sector led the gainers, as the sector closed 1.47pc higher from its previous day’s close. HBL (1.97pc) and MCB Bank (0.48pc) were top performers of the sector.
Uptick in international oil prices prompted interest in oil sector stocks. Pakistan Petroleum, Pakistan Oilfields and OGDC gained 0.3pc to 1.7pc.
“The exploration and production companies contributed to the upside after oil prices extended gains from the previous session in Asian trading after a surprise third consecutive weekly US crude inventory draw tightened the market,” analysts at Intermarket Securities said. “On the flip side, reversal in cements, fertilisers and banks can be attributed to unwinding of an oversold state staging a reversal.”