Bulls held on to their positions for the third consecutive session at the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) on Wednesday and helped keep the benchmark KSE-100 index in the positive zone with a slight advance of around 32 points.

News of approval of $2.8 billion in fresh funds for Pakistan by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) under the global allocation of Special Drawing Rights aided the rise of the bourse.

The KSE-100 index oscillated between red and green zones as investors awaited corporate results for the year ended June 30, 2021 in certain sectors.

The cement sector bore the brunt of dismal data unveiled a day ago which showed that cement sales fell 19.41% in July 2021.

Earlier, the KSE-100 index shot up as soon as trading began and rose at a steady pace throughout the day, coming close to touching the 48,000-point barrier on overall optimism. A few dips, seen during the session, were corrected timely.

At close, the benchmark KSE-100 index recorded an increase of 31.56 points, or 0.07%, to settle at 47,789.88.

Arif Habib Limited, in its report, stated that the market traded range bound, oscillating between -49 points and +222 points. It ended the session up by 32 points.

“Profit-booking brought the index down from the session’s high, which seemed plausible after an ascent of 600 points in the past couple of sessions,” the report added.

Technology, fertiliser, cement and steel sectors saw profit-booking, whereas banks and oil and gas marketing companies moved up.

Sectors contributing to the performance included banks (+56 points), oil and gas marketing companies (+17 points), chemical (+13 points), cement (-28 points), technology (-21 points) and refinery (-15 points).

Individually, stocks that contributed positively to the index included Azgard Nine (+19 points), Meezan Bank (+19 points), HBL (+19 points), Sui Northern Gas Pipelines (+17 points) and Pakistan Oilfields (+16 points).

Stocks that contributed negatively were TRG Pakistan (-16 points), Pakistan Petroleum (-9 points), Gul Ahmed Textile Mills (-9 points), DG Khan Cement (-9 points) and Bank AL Habib (-9 points).

JS Global analyst Neelum Naz said that the KSE-100 index recorded a high of +222 points, however, the market could not sustain the bullish momentum due to selling pressure.

Hence, after approaching the psychological barrier of 48,000 points, the investors booked gains, leading the index to close at 47,790, +32 points.

Major contribution to the total volume of 533 million shares came from third-tier stocks, mainly Telecard Limited (+4.8%), Hascol Petroleum (+3.7%), WorldCall Telecom (+0.3%), TPL Corp (+7.5%) and Pace (+5.1%).

“As for the roadmap ahead, we recommend investors to book profits on the higher side until the market crosses the level of 48,200 at close,” the analyst said.

Overall trading volumes rose to 532.95 million shares compared with Tuesday’s tally of 443.21 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs15.2 billion.

Shares of 492 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 229 stocks closed higher, 237 declined and 26 remained unchanged.

Telecard Limited was the volume leader with 58.2 million shares, gaining Rs0.81 to close at Rs17.85. It was followed by Hascol Petroleum with 49.8 million shares, gaining Rs0.31 to close at Rs8.63 and WorldCall Telecom with 45.7 million shares, gaining Rs0.01 to close at Rs3.65.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs119.9 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.