KARACHI - Stocks closed higher Wednesday amid investor speculations ahead of appointment of caretaker prime minister by parliamentary committee.

The benchmark KSE 100-share index gained 60.60 points or 0.34 percent to end the session at 17753.97 points compared to 17693.37 points of day earlier.

The rally was mainly led by Engro Corp, MCB Bank and DGKC. Volumes rose to Rs.7.5b with major activity witnessed in LPCL. 43 million shares exchanged hands in LPCL after its above expectation December result. However, telecom sector witnessed selling pressure as investors trimmed their portfolio after the news that Supreme Court has suspended Sind High Court stay order against CCP hearing on international calling rates, dealer observed.

KSE allshare-index went up by 6.10 points or 0.05 percent to close the day’s trading at 12482.61 points, KSE 30-share index increased by 61.68 points or 0.43 percent to finish the day 14245.20 points, KMI 30-share index added 26.01 points or 0.08 per cent to conclude the session at 30976.34 points.

Analyst said institutional interest was witnessed in selected blue chip stocks across the board led by cement, fertilizers and oil scrips after recovery in global stocks and commodities. Higher local cement prices and easing gas shortage issues for fertilizer companies played a catalyst role in bullish sentiments amid concerns for Supreme Court call on LDI operators on March 27 on ICH issue and rupee instability ahead of Mar 28 $95m repayments to IMF.

Stock market traded 265.881 million shares after opening at 162.502 million shares and the value of traded shares climbed to Rs 7.593 billion from Rs 5.273 billion. Capitalization of local bourse settled at Rs 4.362 trillion compared to 4.367 trillion of a day earlier.

Business took place in 327 companies where gainers beat the losers by 168 to 136 while the value of 23 stocks remained intact. Unilever Pak was the biggest loser of the day, down by Rs 208.50 to Rs 10700, followed by Colgate Palmolive, decreased by Rs 91.60 to Rs 1740.40. Rafhan Maize XD and National FoodsXD were the top gainers of the day, increased by Rs 91.50 to Rs 3750 and Rs 10.28 to Rs 303.

Active list was topped by Lafarge Pakistan with 43.729 million shares as it closed at Rs 6.59 after opening at Rs 6. PTCLA was on  the second position with 28.769 million shares, shed Re 0.66 to Rs 19.65.

It was followed by TRG Pakistan with 26.435 million shares, up by Re 0.20 to Rs 7.08, Telecard Limited with 15.072 million shares, off by Re 0.44 to Rs 5.53 and Dera Ghazi Khan Cement with 14.674 million shares, up by Rs 2.63 to Rs 67.61.