The stock market tested nerves ahead of the weekend with news and rumours driving the direction while activity was somewhat dull during early trade. However, the second session lived up to its expectation as the Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) benchmark 100-share index rose 0.42% or 106.68 points to end at 25,579.33. “In the first session, the index declined by 0.3% as profit-taking at higher levels clipped all the intraday gains,” said Wasi M Khan of JS Global Capital . “However, in the second session, bulls managed to overpower the bears and the index closed up by 107 points.” Elixir Securities analyst Faisal Bilwani said the turnover was 25% lower versus the week’s average, indicating that most players were comfortable with what they held and were only expected to marginally shuffle portfolios ahead of the year’s close. “In a notice to the stock exchange, Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (+0.3%) informed about approval to bid for a 100% stake in Warid Telecom , a deal apparently worth $500 to $600 million , which will benefit Bank Alfalah (+3.9%) with a one-time Rs2.35 to Rs2.85 per share impact on bottom line of the bank,” he said. Moreover, rumours of a change in the gas price for Engro Corporation’s (-3.5%) fertiliser subsidiary resulted in panic selling with the stock hitting the lower lock intraday. MCB Bank (+4.95%) had an interesting ride with the stock trading highest volumes in the last two years on earnings and payout excitement while chartists remained bullish on the technical breakout, Bilwani concluded. Trade volumes rose to 273 million shares compared with Thursday’s tally of 255 million shares. Shares of 382 companies were traded on Friday. At the end of the day, 224 stocks closed higher, 135 declined and 23 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs8.2 billion . Dewan Cement was the volume leader with 22.6 million shares, gaining Rs0.78 to finish at Rs7 . It was followed by PTCL with 13.9 million shares, gaining Rs0.09 to close at Rs31.28 and Bank Alfalah with 11.7 million shares, gaining Rs1.05 to close at Rs28.13 . Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs54 million worth of shares, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited .
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