KARACHI - Pakistan Stock Exchange closed yet again at an all-time high Monday on speculations ahead of earnings season. Positivity prevailed at the stock market as the 100-share index surged by 444.50 points to close at the highest ever level of 40,986.31 points.

News of Shanghai Stock Exchange’s approach to buy a stake in PSX kept the investor mood upbeat throughout the day. CPI for the month of September clocked in at 3.88% vs 3.79% for the month of July. The trend of rising inflation strengthens the case for interest rate hike in the upcoming monetary policies. On the back of aforementioned reason, a rally in the banking sector was witnessed. Top index movers of the heaviest weight sector were UBL (up 2.45%) and MCB (1.81%). Rally in the cement sector was witnessed in anticipation of strong dispatch numbers for the month of September. Top index movers of the sector were LUCK (up 5.00%) and MLCF (4.22%), stated analyst Ahmed Saeed Khan.

Volumes increased by 30% to 568m shares while value rose by 25% to Rs17.5b/$168m.

Upbeat NFDC data for the fertilizers sector for Aug'16, higher global crude prices and bullish global equities played a catalyst role in the record close at PSX, ignoring prevailing Pak-India border tensions, said analyst Ahsan Mehanti.

Attractive valuations led LUCK to close at its upper limit of 5%, while DGKC and MLCF gained 2.2% and 4.8% respectively. Interest in banks led UBL and MCB to gain 2.4% and 1.4% respectively. GATM announced, through a PSX notice, that it will explore the feasibility of a potential carve out its local business segments into one or more companies, said dealers.