Bulls maintained their grip at the Pakistan Stock Exchange on Tuesday as the KSE-100 index extended the rally and breached the 48,000-point barrier for the first time since June 2017.

Slight contraction in consumer price index to 10.9% in May bolstered investor spirits and encouraged them to make fresh investments. In addition, a drop in Covid-19 cases, and the overall positivity rate, in the past 24 hours signalled improvement of the country on the virus front and raised hopes for further economic recovery.

Taking cue from the decline in infection rate, investors opted to assume fresh positions. Further uptrend came on back of spike in international oil prices to highest since March 2021, which sparked a buying spree in the oil and gas exploration sector as it closed entirely in the green.

At close, the benchmark KSE-100 index recorded an increase of 294.92 points, or 0.62%, to settle at 48,191.26.

The KSE-100 index jumped as soon as trading began, however, most of the gains eroded by mid-day as double digit inflation figure irked investors. The market staged a modest recovery in final hours and closed nearly 300 points up.

Alpha Beta Core CEO said that hopes of a business-friendly budget announcement drove market sentiments on Tuesday and lent support to the rally.

“Investors expect a development-focused budget and the government signalled imposition of a small number of taxes compared to the previous budget,” he said. “Both of these speculations raised investor spirits and fuelled the rally.”

The government is focusing on a relaxed fiscal policy now, he added.

Overall trading volumes declined to 1.3 billion shares compared with Monday’s tally of 1.5 billion. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs30.5 billion.

Shares of 421 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 258 stocks closed higher, 152 declined and 11 remained unchanged.

WorldCall Telecom was the volume leader with 354.1 million shares, losing Rs0.08 to close at Rs3.59. It was followed by Byco Petroleum with 94.6 million shares, gaining Rs0.25 to close at Rs11.5 and Silkbank with 86.1 million shares, gaining Rs0.06 to close at Rs1.7.