KARACHI - Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) closed marginally up on the first day of the week owing to lack of any trigger. The 100-share index gained 88.58 points to close at 43829.07 points.

Investors mainly followed “wait and watch” approach in expectations of any new trigger that could likely be expected announcement of tax amnesty scheme, election of Senate chairman, and new budgetary measures by the government.

Volumes remained subdued, as 137m shares changed hands during the day. Most of the dull activity can be attributed to political uncertainty and lack of positive triggers. On the political front, ECP announces official results of 2018 Senate elections, where PML-N bagged 15 seats in the Senate election, emerging as majority, commented dealer at JS Global.

Cement sector continued its upward rally as cement dispatches for 8MFY18 recorded 14% YoY growth, clocking in at 30.11m tons; while Feb-2018 sales clocked in at 3.78m tons, up 10% YoY, and down 7% MoM. LUKC (up 1.31%), MLCF (up 2.27%) and FCCL (3.85%) were the major gainers of the mentioned sector.

Top 5 stocks including HBL (up 1.3%), LUCK (1.3%), FCCL (3.9%), BAHL (1.5%) & PIBTL (4.5%)  added 110 points to the index gain, whereas stocks including MCB (down 0.8%), UBL (0.6%), PPL (0.6%), ENGRO (0.6%) & MTL (1.1%) withheld 56 points from the index.

Volumes declined significantly from 229.9m shares as against 137m shares (-40% DoD). Average traded value also declined by 39% from $86.9m to $53.5m. Stocks that contributed significantly to the volumes included UNITY, WTL, AGL, FCCL and EPCL, reflecting 31% of total volumes.