KARACHI - Stocks closed bullish higher amid thin trade led by selected blue chip stocks on strong valuations.

At local equity market benchmark KSE-100 share index posted a fresh gain of 60.55 points or 0.32 percent to end the day at 18,713.61 points compared to 18,653.06 points of the previous day.

Experts said trade remained in narrow range and investors’ interest remained mainly in second and third tier stocks awaiting SBP policy statement due this week.

Easing gas supply issues in fertilizer sector, strong data on urea and cement sales and hopes for early resolution of CCP levy on telecom, fertilizer sector played a catalyst role in bullish sentiments at KSE amid concerns for rising fiscal deficit and pending circular debt issue in energy sector.

KSE-Allshare index up by 42.68 points or 0.32 percent to close the day at 13,271.46 points, KSE-30 share index extended by 53.72 points or 0.37 percent to finish the day at 14,604.83 points while KMI-30 share index enlarged by 71.14 points or 0.22 percent to conclude the session at 33,062.01 points.

Market traded 128.314 million shares after opening at 123.579 million shares and the value of traded shares was climbed to Rs 5.493 billion from Rs 3.622 billion. Capitalisation of equity market settled at Rs 4.607 trillion as compared to Rs 4.593 trillion of a day earlier.

Equity dealer Samar Iqbal said market closed above 18,700 points mark on optimism about healthy March quarter results. Renewed buying interest was seen in Engro Corp amid hope of additional gas supply, while cherry picking was also witnessed in telecom and cement stocks.

Trading took place in 372 companies where gainers held a strong lead over the losers 192 to 154 while the value of 26 stocks remained intact. Unilever Food SPOT and Rafhan Maize were the biggest price gainers of the day up by Rs 232.40 to 4880.40 and Rs 198.97 to Rs 4178.47. Down hill trend were led by Colgate Palmolive and Shezan Inter decreased by Rs 51 to Rs 1999 and Rs 22.60 to Rs 429.40.

Active list was topped by Engro Corporation with 15.183 million shares as it closed at Rs 142.06 after opening at Rs 136.30. Wateen Telecom was on the second position with 10.798 million shares. It was followed by Maple Leaf Cement with 8.149 million shares up by Re 0.27 to Rs 19.32, Pak Elektr Limited with 5.773 million shares without any change settled at Rs 10.05 and Lafarge Pakistan with 5.751 million shares added Rs 0.09 to Rs 6.99.