KARACHI -  Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) compounded on gains witnessed Tuesday, with the KSE 100-index adding another 419 points to close at 43,359 points. The index is now just a stone’s throw away from 2018 high level of 43,631 points.

The gains were supported by investors’ belief that the protests by opposition parties on Mall Road Lahore will be temporary and may not heighten any political risk, said analyst at Topline brokerage.

After an initial jitter caused by protest/ sit-in, KSE 100-index held positive ground rest of the day and with the hope of coalition against government started dissipating, the bulls came raging in and raised the index level. In the coming days, market is expected to continue its positive drive and those who divested last week are expected to come back that can take the market to recent days’ high, market participants said.

On the news front, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi is likely to unveil new exports package comprising reduction in industrial electricity and gas tariffs and other incentives during his possible visit to the city. Investors’ interest was witnessed in the steel sector where MUGHAL (up 5.0%), INIL (2.0%), ISL (2.6%) and CSAP (1.5%) closed in green, stated dealer at JS Global.

Top 10 index point contributors were HBL (up 1.6%), SEARL (5%), PPL (0.8%), BAHL (2%) & NML (3.3%), adding 128 points, while KTML (down 1.4%), KEL (1%), ABOT (0.8%), SNBL (1.5%) & PGF (0.8%) withheld 13 points. On the sector front, banks added 123 points, followed by cements which added 46 points and E&Ps which added 38 points.

Volumes declined slightly from 160.8m Tuesday to 151.3m shares yesterday, reflecting a decline of 6% DoD. Average traded value declined by 8% DoD to reach $60m from $65.2m.

Stocks that contributed significantly to the volumes included PACE, ANL, LOTCHEM, KEL and FABL, reflecting 27% of total volumes.