KARACHI - Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) maintained its upward trend as flows in cement, steel, gas utilities kept investors’ sentiment intact, resultantly the benchmark 100-share index gained another 225 points and closed at 40,371 points.

On the news front, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has expressed optimism that the current account deficit may be contained to a manageable level in coming months due to recent measures taken to arrest the decline in foreign exchange reserves, stated analyst at JS Global.

Freshly appointed federal minister for finance, Miftah Ismail further elaborated upon his agenda while stating that those who do not file their taxes should be treated as criminals, in a bid to widen the tax net. Despite Engro Polymer’s (EPCL dip 3.25%) Rs10b expansion plan, where PVC capacity would be increased by 100k tons (295k total) by 2020, participants opted to sell the stock as they are cash strapped and uninterested in the right offering, observed dealer at Topline Brokerage.

Top index point contributors were MCB (up 3.8%), LUCK (3.5%), UBL (1.8%), DGKC (2.8%) & FCCL (4%), adding 179 points to the index, while PPL (down 1.2%), ENGRO (1.1%), HBL (0.7%), OGDC (0.6%) & PAEL (4.2%) held 84 points back from the index.

Sector wise; cements added 109 points, banks 84 points, textile 22 points, refinery 19 points, whereas E&Ps held back 46 points, fertilizer 32 points & cable goods 11 points.

Traded volumes improved by 20% DoD to 239m shares while value traded surged up to $82m.

Top volume stocks for the day were WTL (up 0.34%), DSL (down 4.10%), and TRG (up 1.04%). SSGC (up 5%) from the gas utility closed at its upper circuit on the back of news that the government is likely to offer incentive relief to SSGC to the tune of Rs31 billion.