KARACHI – The Karachi stock market closed marginally higher on Friday amid speculations over upcoming corporate earning announcements in blue chip banks, fertilizer and oil scrips, ahead of the monetary policy announcement.

The benchmark KSE 100-share index gained 18.36 points or 0.15 percent to finish the day at 12,231.60 points as compared to 12,213.24 points of the previous session.

KSE allshare-index increased by 13.36 points or 0.16 percent to stop the day at 8,504.74 points, KSE 30-share index improved by 10.43 points or 0.09 per cent to end the day at 11,415.20 points while KMI 30-share index lost 41.85 points or 0.19 percent.

Trade remained thin on uncertain political outlook. Index moved in narrow range and managed to close above days lows on institutional support despite concerns over economic uncertainty after IMF warnings on rising fiscal deficit and need for higher policy rate due to be announced this weekend,” said Ahsan Mehanti, a stock analyst.

Small cap stocks remained volume leader as FCCL led the volume, followed by JSCL and Fatima, said Samar Iqbal, equity dealer at Topline Securities.

“Market remained ranged bound as investors remained cautious due to upcoming monetary policy and contempt case hearing on Monday. The long awaited news of issue of payment on account of circular debt also failed to boost the sentiments,” she added.

Trading took place in 306 stocks where loosers outnumbered the gainers by 127 to 108, while the values of 71 companies remained intact. Market traded 107.140 million shares after opening at 139.144 million shares.

Active list was topped by Fauji Cement with 14.455m shares as it closed at Rs 4.55 after opening at Rs 4.63, followed by Jahangier Siddiqi Comapany, Fatima Fertilizer Company, Azgard Nine and National Bank with volumes of 12.816m, 8.024m, 7.843m and 5.741m shares respectively.

Highest price gainers were led by the UniLever Pak Ltd and Colgate Palmolive, up by Rs 12.94 and Rs 5.00, while the top losers were led by the Indus Dyeing and Mithchells XD, down by Rs 19.71 and Rs 3.64 respectively.