LAHORE - The stock market on Wednesday edged up higher with the benchmark KSE-100 Index settling at 44,096 levels, up 0.5 percent of 210 points after making a high of +414 points.

Experts said that market started the day on a positive note after the global markets exhibited a cumulative sigh of ease following the bounce back of Wall Street. On the political front, the US State Dept. said that they could consider ending suspension of security assistance to Pakistan, if Islamabad takes "decisive and sustained" actions against militant groups in the country.

On the economic front, one of the Chinese companies has shown interest in investing $1bn in "Pakistan Post Logistics Company" which would help Pakistan Post become a profitable entity, whereas work on $8.6bn CPEC rail line is unlikely to begin soon due to slowing down of work pace. Traded volumes slightly improved by 13 percent on daily basis to 270 million shares while value traded picked up to $103mn. Top volume stocks were TRG (-0.05 percent) ANL (+6.05 percent), ASL (-2.15 percent) and SSGC (+2.92). Positive sentiments were witnessed in the Gas Utilities, where SNGP (+1.16 percent) and SSGC (+2.92 percent) closed positive.

Active participation was seen in SSGC as the Petroleum Division has sought waiver of liquidated damages for non-supply of gas to an IPP. APL (-0.35 percent) and PSO (-0.32 percent) closed in the red. PSO came under the hammer as receivables of Pakistan State Oil (PSO) have gone up to Rs334.1bn because of default of power sector to the tune of Rs283 billion. In the E&P sector, POL (+0.49 percent) and OGDC (+1.69 percent) closed in the green as oil ticked higher in the International market on bets for drop in US Crude supplies. Moving forward, we expect market to remain positive with flows from the local institutions and foreigners directing the market.