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Pakistan Stock Exchange tests 50,000 barrier in intraday trading

5886e8072c90cThe Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) continued its record-breaking upward trajectory on Tuesday, with the KSE-100 index testing the 50,000 barrier in intraday trading for the first time in its history.

The index gained 173 points soon after the market opened to touch 50,050.19 points by 9:34am. However, it later succumbed to selling pressure, losing 429 points.

The market’s gains were underpinned by buying in oil and cement stocks.

“It is a technical market correction; market may hover close to 50,000 level and may cross the fifty thousand mark in current or next session,” Fawad Khan, head of research at KASB Securities Private Ltd, told Reuters.

“The index performance shows the local investors’ confidence in the market.”

Market analysts said investor confidence will get a boost tomorrow in case the KSE-100 ends up closing above 50,000 points by close of trading on Tuesday.

The benchmark index soared 61 per cent over the last 12 months, making it one of world’s top performing indexes.

Market on an upswing

Stocks were on fire on Monday as well, with the KSE-100 index recording gains of 511 points, or 1.04 per cent, to close at a new all-time high of 49,876.

Although the index was nearing the 50,000 level and foreign selling continued unabated, local investors threw caution to the wind and continued to build new positions in almost all sectors.

The trading volume jumped to 600 million shares from 460m shares traded on Friday, while the value of shares traded increased to Rs24.5 billion from Rs22.9bn.

The significant feature of the day’s trading was the huge volume of 214m shares that changed hands in K-Electric, which alone accounted for 36pc of the day’s total volume.

Earlier in December, a Chinese consortium had acquired a 40pc stake in the PSX.

The consortium comprises three Chinese exchanges — China Financial Futures Exchange Company Limited, the Shanghai Stock Exchange, the Shenzhen Stock Exchange and two local financial institutions – Pak-China Investment Company Limited and Habib Bank Limited.

At least 17 entities in all had expressed an interest in the PSX, whose benchmark stock index was one of the best performing indices worldwide in 2016.

The PSX now plans to offer 20pc of its own shares to the public, officials said.

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