KARACHI The local equity market posted modest gains on Wednesday as investors bought shares on hopes of strong corporate earnings, which are scheduled to be announced this month. Foreign buying in the oil & gas and banking sectors scrips remained intact despite institutional profit-booking by the investors on inflation concerns. The Karachi Stock Exchanges benchmark 100-share index ended 0.11 percent, or 14.03 points, higher at 12,281.24. The daily market report revealed that volumes increased to 143.16 million shares from 120 million shares traded previously. KSE market capitalization stood at Rs3, 324.88 billion or $38.79 billion. According to the break up, total ready market value was recorded at Rs9.45 billion or $110.22 million. It further showed that KSE 30-index closed at the level of 12,014.57 points, adding 65.60 points. KSE future volume came at 6.10 million shares, valuing at Rs924.45 million with a spread of 7.33 per cent. Where robust foreign buying remains the major attraction for local bourses, corporate earnings will cheer market players this year, according to analyst opinion. As per the assumptions of the Topeline research, after 4 years (2007-2010) of flat earnings, listed companies profits are likely to post double digit earnings growth of 20 per cent in 2011 that will lead market to achieve index target of 14,000 this year. The growth will be led by energy and banks followed by cement and consumer sectors. The earnings growth estimates for 2011 excludes heavy weight OGDC which is misleading the index. However, besides international crude oil price and interest rates, other risk factor for corporate earnings this year would be the new taxes whether it could be one time flood tax or asset tax on corporates with a view to finance burgeoning budget deficit. After FY11 earnings growth will stabilize at 10 per cent, resulting in three year average annual earnings growth of 13 per cent in line with the inflation expectations. This earnings growth compares favorably with last four years average annual earnings growth of only 4 per cent (average inflation 11pc).