The bourse turned bullish on Tuesday after remaining in the red for two consecutive sessions as investors took fresh positions ahead of Senate elections on March 3.

A few bearish sessions earlier encouraged market participants to go for stock purchases at attractive valuations. Upbeat investors’ sentiment helped index-heavy automobile, refinery and fertiliser sectors to close with modest gains.

Earlier, trading began with minor ups and downs, however, the index soared past 46,000 points in the first hour and remained there for most of the day. Late session selling dragged it marginally down as caution prevailed ahead of Senate polls.

At close, the benchmark KSE-100 index recorded an increase of 370.84 points, or 0.81%, to settle at 45,964.27 points.

Arif Habib Limited, in its report, stated that the market bounced back prior to Senate elections, which were important for the current government.

Post-announcement of a majority of financial results for the Oct-Dec 2020 quarter, investors had been booking profit on long held positions.

However, prospects of release of funds to resolve the circular debt issue prompted investors to take position in the energy chain – oil and gas marketing companies and power firms.

Buying activity was also observed in banking, steel, refinery and textile sectors, the report said.

JS Global analyst Danish Ladhani said the KSE-100 index made some recovery and rose 484 points before closing at 45,964 (up 0.8%).

Top volume leaders of the session were TRG Pakistan (+4.3%), Azgard Nine (+4.6%), Aisha Steel Mills (+7%), Byco Petroleum (+1.8%), Ghani Global Holdings (+2.5%) and Unity Foods (+1.8%), contributing a cumulative 155 million shares to the total volume.

Mixed sentiment was noted in the cement sector where Lucky Cement (-1.1%), Kohat Cement (-1.1%) and Fauji Cement (-1.1%) closed in the red while Cherat Cement (+1.62%) gained ground.

Shell (-0.2%) in the oil marketing sector reported a loss of Rs45.05 per share for CY20. Moreover, Sanofi-Aventis Pakistan (+7.5%) in the pharmaceutical sector hit its upper circuit as the company reported CY20 earnings per share of Rs51.12 with cash payout of Rs20 per share.

“Moving forward, we expect the market to stay volatile and recommend investors to remain cautious ahead of Senate elections. Any downside should be viewed as an opportunity to build positions in cement, refinery and textile sectors,” the analyst said.

Overall trading volumes increased to 399.2 million shares compared with Monday’s tally of 368.4 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs23 billion.

Shares of 417 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 274 stocks closed higher, 125 declined and 18 remained unchanged.

TRG Pakistan was the volume leader with 38.3 million shares, gaining Rs6.12 to close at Rs147.61. It was followed by Azgard Nine with 31.3 million shares, gaining Rs1.45 to close at Rs32.88 and Aisha Steel Mills with 29.5 million shares, gaining Rs1.67 to close at Rs25.45.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs557.9 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.