KARACHI - The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) witnessed a record surge at the start of the business week as the benchmark index reached an all-time high level on Monday. The 100-share index rallied by 261.30 points or 0.73 per cent to close at 36,234.99 points.

Major index mover was the pharmaceutical sector that gained on back of news that Drug Regulatory Authority Pakistan (DRAP) has allowed pharmaceutical companies to increase drug prices for the second time in less than six months.

Star performers of the aforementioned sector were SHIFA (up 5.0%), SEARL (up 3.99%) and ABOT (up 2.07%). The oil sector too closed in the green as global crude oil prices rebounded from its low over the weekend to trade above the psychological barrier of $46/bbl mark (Brent). Top performers of the day were POL, which rose 2.04%, OGDC, up 1.77%, and MARI that gained 1.50%. Scrips that are expected to form part of MSCI emerging market index remained the focal point of investors’ attention, observed analyst Ahmed Saeed Khan. Volume decreased by 4.5% to 273m shares while value also declined by 10.5% to Rs12.8b/123$m.

Uptick in international crude oil prices due to wildfire in Canada and a change in Saudi Arabia’s oil minister prompted investor interest in oil exploration stocks. Pakistan Oilfields (POL) gained 2.0% while Oil & Gas Development Company (OGDC) rose 1.8% today, stated dealers at major brokerage.