The stock market remained on an uptrend on Wednesday and marked the end of fiscal year 2020-21 with a modest advance of over 200 points to above 47,350.

The approval of federal budget 2021-22 by parliament on Tuesday lent support to the uptrend. Overall, market players were optimistic as they anticipated that the positive momentum would continue in the new financial year.

Earlier, trading kicked off on an upbeat note, however, the gains were erased in the afternoon and the index fell into the negative zone. Later, strong investor sentiment triggered cherry-picking, which continued for the rest of the day, helping the market post moderate gains.

At close, the benchmark KSE-100 index recorded an increase of 218.25 points, or 0.46%, to settle at 47,356.02.

Arif Habib Limited, in its report, stated that the last day of FY21 saw brisk trading, which pointed to the balancing of portfolio positions by institutional investors. As a result, the index posted gains.

“The banking sector witnessed aggressive buying of MCB and NBP stocks in the last half hour, whereas refineries saw life coming back to an otherwise slow moving Pakistan Refinery and Attock Refinery stocks,” it said.

The technology sector was muted whereas the exploration and production sector inched up after previous day’s onslaught.

Sectors contributing to the performance included banks (+77 points), exploration and production (+57 points), pharmaceutical (+28 points), fertiliser (-36 points) and technology (-22 points).

Individually, stocks that contributed positively to the index included MCB (+65 points), Pakistan Petroleum (+23 points), Mari Petroleum (+21 points), NBP (+19 points) and Bank Alfalah (+17 points).

Stocks that contributed negatively were HBL (-49 points), Engro (-27 points), TRG Pakistan (-19 points), Cherat Cement (-12 points) and Indus Motor (-7 points).

JS Global analyst Maaz Mulla said that optimistic investors kept the KSE-100 index in the green zone and the bourse closed up by 218 points at 47,356.

Traded volume slid by 5% to 549 million shares, where the highest contribution came from Silkbank (-2.4%), WorldCall Telecom (+1.3%), TPL Corp (+7.1%), Fauji Foods (-2.7%) and Pace (Pakistan) (+2.3%).

“On the news front, the World Bank has approved two loans worth $800 million for clean energy and investments in human capital,” he said.

Refineries experienced an upward trend, where Byco Petroleum (+1.7%), Pakistan Refinery (+1.2%), Attock Refinery (+2.5%) and National Refinery (+1.5%) closed higher.

Moreover, activity was witnessed in the cement sector on the back of rumours that manufacturers were likely to increase cement prices. Maple Leaf Cement (+2.2%), DG Khan Cement (+0.6%), Pioneer Cement (+1.1%) and Dewan Cement (+2.1%) were the major movers of the day.

“Going forward, we expect the market to maintain a similar trend and recommend investors to view any downside as a buying opportunity in construction and export-oriented sectors,” the analyst said.

Overall trading volumes fell to 549.7 million shares compared with Tuesday’s tally of 580.8 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs15.9 billion.

Shares of 422 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 257 stocks closed higher, 138 declined and 27 remained unchanged.

Silkbank was the volume leader with 44.2 million shares, losing Rs0.05 to close at Rs2.01. It was followed by WorldCall Telecom with 43.2 million shares, gaining Rs0.05 to close at Rs3.96 and TPL Corp with 31.8 million shares, gaining Rs1.3 to close at Rs19.55.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs460.2 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.