KARACHI - Bulls dominated the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) in week’s first trading session on Monday, ignoring the geo-political noise. The KSE 100-index continued its recovery to make an intra-day high of 732 points to gain 1.4% and finally closed at 43,112 points after gaining 588 points.

The index has recovered 13% from the bottom levels of December 2017, right after a massive plunge in the local bourse post political and economic uncertainties, said dealer at JS Global. Banking sector extended its previous week’s rally where big banks boosted the index by 163 points. UBL (up 2.18%), HBL (3.34%) and MCB (1.09%) were the major movers of the aforementioned sector.

Investors’ interest was witnessed in the fertilizer sector on the back of news of agriculture department launching direct subsidy on fertilizers program, replacing the earlier system. FFC (up 5%) and FFBL (5%), from the aforementioned sector, closed at their respective upper circuits, dealer said.

Steel sector continued to perform as ISL (up 2.91%), ASL (4.97%) and MUGHAL (5%) gained to close in the green zone. From the E&P sector, POL (up 0.49%) and OGDC (0.97%) closed slightly positive.

Market participants’ euphoric mood continued, thanks to announcement of possible tax relief measures for individuals and reduction in cost of doing business by the government. Investors bought fertilizer stock owing to improving sector dynamics and gas distribution companies on back of third RLNG pipeline project being finally approved. While on other hand pressure was seen in some of cements stock due to possible tightening and enforcement of environmental regulations in Punjab, stated dealer at Topline Securities.

Top 5 index point contributors were HBL (up 3.3%), FFC (5%), UBL (2.2%), SNGP (5%) & MTL (4.3%) that contributed 254 points to the index gain whereas decliners included NESTLE (down 2.6%), PPL (0.6%), FCCL (2.2%), KAPCO (1.6%) & BATA (4.1%), withholding 48 points from the index.

Sector-wise, commercial banks added 179 points and fertilizer contributed 123 points while food & personal care products withheld 5 points.

Volumes increased to 270m shares as compared to 260m shares Friday, showing an increase of 4% DoD. Average traded value also increased by 22% DoD to reach $104.5m as against $86m on Friday.

Stocks that contributed significantly to the volumes included WTL, ANL, ASL, TRG and BOP contributing a total of 59m shares, reflecting 32% share of total volumes.