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The Pakistan Stock Exchange started the last week of 2020 on a positive note with key support coming from power, fertiliser and oil sectors, which attracted investors’ interest.

Bulls held their ground for the fourth day on the back of a bullish spell in global equity markets coupled with rising international oil prices.

The KSE-100 index shot up as soon as trading began and rose at a steady pace throughout the day, buoyed by strong investor interest and optimism. A few dips, seen during the session, were corrected timely.

At close, the benchmark KSE-100 index recorded an increase of 257.51 points, or 0.59%, to settle at 43,674.28 points.

Arif Habib Limited, in its report, stated that the market endured a range-bound session and added a total of 344 points during the day. It closed in the green.

Stocks of cement, steel and banking sectors faced selling pressure. Cement sector stocks fell due to profit-booking after posting gains during the day and the rollover week.

“Positivity came from oil and gas marketing companies, fertiliser and power sectors, which took cue from the finalisation of a pending International Monetary Fund (IMF) review and government’s acceptance of the underlying terms,” it said.

Cement sector stocks initially hit high levels on news of construction of dams, however, profit-booking brought them below closing prices of the previous trading session.

International crude oil prices rebounded, however, a muted positive response was observed in Oil and Gas Development Company and Pakistan Petroleum Limited.

Sectors contributing to the performance included technology (+62 points), banks (+37 points), oil and gas marketing (+29 points), power (+28 points) and vanaspati (+23 points).

Individually, stocks that contributed positively to the index included TRG Pakistan (+63 points), Meezan Bank (+36 points), Unity Foods (+23 points), MCB (+17 points) and K-Electric (+17 points).

Stocks that contributed negatively were Pakistan Oilfields (-13 points), Lucky Cement (-10 points), UBL (-9 points), Colgate-Palmolive (-8 points) and Systems Limited (-8 points).

Overall, trading volumes fell to 463.4 million shares compared with Thursday’s tally of 570.6 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs18.9 billion.

Shares of 398 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 225 stocks closed higher, 154 declined and 19 remained unchanged.

K-Electric was the volume leader with 47.2 million shares, gaining Rs0.26 to close at Rs4.07. It was followed by Unity Foods with 31.9 million shares, gaining Rs2.01 to close at Rs30.52 and TRG Pakistan with 25.9 million shares, gaining Rs5.88 to close at Rs84.3.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs726.8 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.

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