KARACHI -  Stock market extended its previous day gain as the index gained around 207 points or (0.43%) to close at 48,457.26 points.

Contribution to the upside came from PPL (gain 1.8pc), HASCOL (5pc), SNGP (3pc), MARI (2.7pc) & NRL (up 5pc), adding 98 points; while LUCK (slip 0.9pc), ENGRO (0.9pc), KTML (1.8pc), PKGS (-1.5pc) & BAHL (-0.8pc), eroded 58 points, said dealers at Topline brokerage. Trade remained higher on strong earnings in leveraged sectors, upbeat auto sales data for Jul-March 2017 and easing political noise. Likely resolution of circular debt, rising global crude prices and upbeat data on exports for March 2017 played a catalyst role in bullish close, market participants said.

The E&P sector continued its upward trajectory as the sector gained to close (up 2pc) higher than its previous day close. Surge in crude oil prices continue to garner investor interest in the sector (WTI $53.60/bbl level). OGDC (gain 0.83pc), POL (1.36pc) and PPL (1.76pc) were the major index movers from the aforementioned sector. SNGP (rose 2.99pc) and SSGC (2.28pc) gained to close in the green zone on the back of the news that the government has lifted eight year moratorium on new gas connections to industries. Automobile sector gained on the back of auto sales number released by PAMA for the month of March 2017, which indicated a 17 percent YoY growth for the month of March 2017, stated analyst at JS Global.

PSMC led the sales number with 19 percent YoY growth as Wagon R continue to be the star variant of the auto assembler (113pc YoY higher). Apart from the E&P sector major contribution to the index came from SNGP (gain 2.99pc), MARI (2.69pc) and FCCL (2.46pc), whereas LUCK (slip 0.89pc), ENGRO (0.86pc) and DGKC (0.50pc) lost value to weigh down on the index, brokers said.

Market participation improved considerably with traded volume and value both surging by 48 percent to 218 million shares and Rs11.2 billion/$107 million, respectively. However, activity still remains well below YTD average volume daily of 327 million shares and value of Rs16 billion.