After four days of consistent decline, the Pakistan bourse turned bullish on Thursday and crossed the 48,000-point barrier as the US State Department appreciated Islamabad’s support in matters pertaining to Afghanistan.

The diplomatic development left a positive impact on investors’ mind and they took fresh positions, which triggered a rally at the stock market.

Moreover, the hike in steel, fertiliser and cement prices put the spotlight on the three sectors where major names moved higher.

A drop in prices of vehicles on the back of withdrawal of federal excise duty improved the outlook for the auto sector and sparked a buying spree as investors expected higher sales of cars in coming months.

Meanwhile, a spike in international crude oil prices turned the local oil sector stocks attractive and a majority of them ended the day on a positive note.

Earlier, trading began on an optimistic note and the uptrend continued throughout the session. The market’s rise accelerated towards the end and it closed with inflated gains.

At close, the benchmark KSE-100 index recorded an increase of 805.25 points, or 1.7%, to settle at 48,053.17.

In comments to The Express Tribune, Alpha Beta Core CEO Khurram Schehzad said that the market climbed primarily due to a US statement in support of Pakistan.

“The US is looking to normalise the faltering relations and it is a good move for Pakistan,” he said. “Islamabad should respond with equally encouraging remarks.”

JS Global analyst Muhammad Mubashir said that the KSE-100 index finally breached the psychological barrier of 48,000 points and closed at 48,053, up 805 points which was coincidently the intra-day high as well.

Activity was seen in cement, steel and technology sectors. Total traded volume came in at 475 million shares.

Engro Fertilisers was in the limelight on market talk that it had increased di-ammonium phosphate (DAP) prices by Rs200 per bag to pass on the impact of rise in international prices.

“Going forward, we recommend investors to avail any downside as an opportunity to buy in cement, steel and textile sectors,” the analyst said.

Overall trading volumes rose to 475.2 million shares compared with Wednesday’s tally of 412.2 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs21.3 billion.

Shares of 429 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 312 stocks closed higher, 96 declined and 21 remained unchanged.

TPL Corp was the volume leader with 30.2 million shares, gaining Rs1.28 to close at Rs18.38. It was followed by WorldCall Telecom with 28.4 million shares, gaining Rs0.01 to close at Rs3.92 and TRG Pakistan with 27.4 million shares, gaining Rs11.06 to close at Rs176.25.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs306.1 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.