LAHORE - The Pakistan Stock Exchange Monday maintained its bullish run for the fourth consecutive session, where cement sector remained in sweet spot, adding 204 points to the index. On the other hand, following the central bank’s decision to maintain policy rate at 6 percent against street expectations of 6.25 percent, the banking sector sell-off snapped 260 points from index. Resultantly, index gains capped at 181 points, closing at 45,741 points.

Investor’s radar attracted chemical stocks; Engro Polymers and Chemicals (EPCL) and Lotte Chemical (LOTCHEM) with cumulative traded volume of 31m shares on back of their improved margins. CRC manufacturers, International Steels (ISL) and Aisha Steels (ASL) were up by 5 percent and 4 percent respectively, as both companies increased CRC prices by ~2-2.5 percent to pass on depreciation impact.

Market participation in terms of volumes traded improved by 14 percent. Similarly, value went up by 29 percent.

Top five stocks LUCK (+4.9 percent), ENGRO (+2.1 percent), DGKC (+5 percent), OGDC (+1.4 percent) & PSO (+2.6 percent) added 227 points to the index gain whereas stocks including UBL (-2.7 percent), HBL (-1.5 percent), MCB (-1.9 percent), BAHL (-2.6 percent) & DAWH (-2.4 percent), withheld 194 points from the index.

Aisha Steel Mills (ASL) notified exchange about quarterly progress on its expansion plan, where LCs for supply of equipment from various manufacturers (Germany, Austria, and China) have been established amounting to Rs3.99b.

Global markets mostly fell in muted trading Monday, as markets in Hong Kong, Australia and Europe were closed for Easter.