KARACHI  -   Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) started the week on a positive note, with the benchmark shares index rallying 288.30 points or (0.6%) by the close of the trading session to reach 48,697 points.

Market opened on a positive note and followed its previous trend as the index traded at intraday high of 348 points to finally close at 48,698 level, brokers said.

Top volume leaders of the bourse were KEL (slip 1.42%), BOP (0.99%) and ASL (4.71%). POL (dip 1.79%) closed in red as international oil prices struggled near the lowest level since the end of November on rising US shale production. PRL (rose 4.92%), in the Refinery sector, closed near its upper cap on Monday. Overall rally was witnessed in the banking sector where big banks tossed the index to close in green. HBL (gain 1.75%), NBP (1.23%) and MCB (0.95%) were the top movers of the aforementioned sector. SNGP, in the gas utility, closed 0.84% higher than its last close on the back of news that the government was planning to seek fund allocation in the upcoming federal budget to finance new gas supply schemes, stated analyst Arhum Ghous.

Government proposals on Rs700 billion federal development spending for 2017-8, higher global crude prices and foreign portfolio inflows played a catalyst role in bullish close, market participants said.

A total of 55.8 million shares had changed hands by the end of the session, with a total worth of nearly Rs4.01 billion.

Volume was recorded at 135 million shares, while value declined by 63.6% Rs6.0 billion/$58 million.

Stocks of 391 companies were traded in the session, of which 233 gained in value, 146 declined and 12 remained unchanged.