KARACHI - Stocks closed at all time high on Wednesday, led by selected stocks across the board on speculations ahead of corporate earning announcements.

The KSE 100-share index gained 171 points and closed at 26761.78 points level as compared to 26590.69 points of the last working day on Monday. Stock analyst said trade remained mainly in second and third tier stocks on strong valuations. ECC likely decisions on revision in OMC margins, SOEs IPO announcements mainly in oil and banking sector for privatization and expectations for status quo in SBP policy rates played a catalyst role in bullish activity despite consolidation amid concerns for rising circular debt in energy sector.

During the session, 418 companies participated in the trading where gainers held the strong lead over the losers by 253 to 147 while the values of 18 stocks remained intact. The highest increased was seen in Unilever Foods, up by Rs 433 to Rs 9093, followed by Rafhan Maize, increased by Rs 330 to Rs 7940. Indus Dyeing and Pak Tobacco were the biggest losers of the day, decreased by Rs 60.20 to Rs 1151.50 and Rs 24.89 to Rs 774.19.   With impressive participation volumes went up 44% from last trading session to Rs 10.049 billion while the day turnover of market in terms of shares was 306.631 million shares after opening at 193.222 million shares. Market capitalization settled at Rs 6.502 trillion compared to Rs 6.463 trillion of the previous session.

Dealer at Topline Securities Asad Siddiqui said main interest was seen in oil stocks as 9 out of 12 listed companies closed for the day in green zone. Moreover, additional interest was seen in Engro Corp. Meanwhile, selective profit taking was seen in cement sector stocks. JS Co topped the active list with 30.673 million shares, up by Re 0.83 to Rs 10.98. Azgard Nine held the second position with 21.593 million shares as it closed at Rs 9.20 after opening at Rs 8.65. It was followed by KESC with 19.025 million shares, added Re 0.04 to Rs 6.53, Bank Al-Falah with 10.766 million shares, grew by Re 0.55 to Rs 27.65 and P.I.A.C.(A) with 10.595 million shares, off by Re 0.11 to Rs 9.45.