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Stocks gain as PM pins hopes on oil discovery.

KARACHI -- Stocks snapAped the three-day losing streak on Friday as investors scrambled to pick up shares after Prime Minister Imran Khan hinted that Pakistan was on the verge of hitting huge oil and gas reserves from the offshore drilling in consortium with ExxonMobil.

The KSE-100 index got up to a positive start and finished the day's trading with a recovery of 147.15 points (0.38 per cent) at 38,531.87.

Major rally was witnessed in the exploration and production stocks, especially Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDC) and Pakistan Petroleum Ltd (PPL) witnessing increase in both volumes traded and share prices. The first session saw the market accumulating 228 points, with an addition of 108 points in the second half. But mid-way during the second session, investors rushed to book profits on reports regarding religious scholar Mufti Mohammad Taqi Usmani surviving an assassination attempt, which sent the index down, wiping intraday gains.

The final hour of trading saw a burst of activity from bulls who tossed the index up by 207 points with final adjustment of gains at 147.75 points. The figures released by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan showed no particular excitement among foreign investors who stayed on the side-lines, as concerns over the economy and the contents of the International Monetary Fund package remained unclear.

Traded volumes improAved 4pc over the previous day to 84.6 million shares while traded value also increased by 4pc to $31.6m.

Stocks that contributed significantly to the volumes included Pak Gen Power Ltd, Bank of Punjab, OGDC, Hubco and PPL, which formed 41pc of the total volume.

Sectors contributing to the performance included E and P adding 162 points, banks 58 points and textiles 11 points. Major contribution to the 100 index upside came from PPL up 3.95pc, OGDC 2.98pc, Pakistan Oilfields Ltd 1.82pc, Bank Alfalah 2.85pc and Phillip Morris Pakistan Ltd 5pc adding 192 points.

On the flip side, Hubco was down 2.42pc, Nestle 5pc and Pakistan Services Ltd 2.26pc took away 68 points.

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Publication:Dawn (Karachi, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Mar 23, 2019
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