KARACHI - Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) started week on a positive note. The KSE 100-index remained volatile throughout the day and closed at 39,526 points after gaining 55 points.

The index moved within close range and couldn’t muster enough confidence to take-off from where it left at the end of last week. Cement and steel sectors continued the positive momentum, however, selling pressure in HBL and UBL kept the index pushing back in red. HBL was in the news due to lay-off of employees that affects its operations. This being the roll-over week and also December end closing for mutual funds and banks means, similar sessions in the ongoing week, commented report of AHL brokerage.

Active participation was witnessed in all major stocks. Cement sector once again came under limelight where DGKC (up 1.81%), LUCK (0.29%), CHCC (5%), KOHC (3.55%), FCCL (4.96%), amongst other cement stocks, closed positive.

Investors interest was witnessed in the steel sector as ASTL (up 4.91%), MUGHAL (5%) and ISL (1.84%) closed higher than their previous day close on the back of expectations of increase in prices of CRC by about Rs2,500/ton. ECC revision of RD in different products played well for the chemical sector, where EPCL (up 2.56%) and LOTCHEM (9.35%) closed in green, stated dealer at JS Global.

Top index point contributors were FCCL (up 5%), KAPCO (2.8%), HBL (0.6%), ABOT (5%) & PAEL (5%), adding 70 points to the index, while UBL (down 2%), OGDC (1.3%), MCB (1.2%), ENGRO (0.9%) & PPL (0.4%) held 115 from the index.

Sector wise; cements added 66 points, OMCs 22 points, engineering 19 points, pharma 15 points, whereas banks shed 49 points, E&Ps 41 points, & fertilizer lost 18 points.

Volumes remained relatively healthy at 178m shares as against 223m shares in last trading session (-20% DoD). Average traded value also declined by 22% from USD 83.2m to USD 65m. Stocks that contributed significantly to the volumes included LOTCHEM, TRG, FCCL, PAEL and ASL, contributing a total of 62m shares, reflecting 35% share of total volumes.