LAHORE - The benchmark KSE 100-index of Pakistan Stock Exchange rose by 192 points (or +0.47 percent), closing at 40,800 points.

The market rallied as investors’ confidence was once again restored on back of various back to back developments on macro front, where cash deposits from Saudi Arabia and UAE played a major role. Additionally, the economic reforms package further altered investors’ sentiments to take a renewed interest in the market despite poor corporate results, especially in steels, cements and autos. For the month of January, 2019, the KSE-100 provided investors’ a double digit return of 10.1 percent (a 25 month high). While foreigners also returned to being net buyers after 12 months of consecutive selling with interest in commercial banks and fertilizers.

On a monthly basis, commercial banks led the way gaining 1,225 points, fueled by a high interest rate environment. Oil & gas exploration companies followed closely adding 939 points, on the back of the resurgence of international oil prices as West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and Arab Light rose 17 percent MoM and 14 percent MoM, respectively.

Investor participation significantly improved as traded volumes rose by 92 percent to 240m, while traded value progressed by 76 percent to $63m. For the month of January, 2019 average traded volumes were 136m and traded value was $43.5m. Engro Polymer & Chemicals Ltd (EPCL) announced its 4QCY18 results, posting EPS of Rs1.19, up 10x YoY. This was due to a 8.2x YoY increase in other income, a 33 percent YoY rise in sales and a 500bps YoY increase in gross profit margins.