Benchmark index rises to 31,621.79

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STAFF REPORTER
KARACHI The KSE-100 continued to gain momentum on Friday as index-heavy stocks pushed the benchmark well above 31,000 points with a rise of over 800 points. The rally marked the third consecutive session in the green despite growing COVID-19 cases in the country and overseas. Moreover, the prime minister’s assurance to the construction sector for an economic relief package coupled with Moody’s rating agency’s upbeat statement about measures taken by the State Bank of Pakistan to cut the key policy rate and cushion banks’ asset quality and lending business sparked institutional interest. At close, the benchmark KSE-100 index recorded an increase of 839.12 points, or 2.73%, to settle at 31,621.79. Stocks that contributed significantly to the volumes included Maple Leaf Cement, Hascol Petroleum, The Bank of Punjab, Unity Foods and K-Electric, which accounted for 32% of total volumes. Stocks that contributed positively to the index were Hubco (+115 points), OGDC (+88 points), Pakistan Petroleum Limited (+83 points), UBL (+63 points) and Pakistan Oilfields Limited (+58 points). Meanwhile, stocks that contributed negatively included MCB (-39 points), Habib Metropolitan Bank (- 17 points), Dawood Hercules (-11 points), Systems Limited (-10 points) and Engro (-9 points). Overall, trading volumes decreased to 251.9 million shares compared with Thursday’s tally of 311.6 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs9.3 billion. Shares of 340 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 233 stocks closed higher, 91 declined and 16 remained unchanged