KARACHI - The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) remained range bound on Thursday, as the benchmark KSE-100 index made an intraday low of 95 points and a high of 166 points, to finally close at 42,363, by gaining 73 points.

Thin activity hinges upon lack of positive triggers, apprehensions on local political front on account of inquiry against finance minister and ex-prime minister. Oil sector closed positive on higher crude oil prices, spurred by rising tensions around northern Iraq following the autonomous Kurdistan region’s vote in favour of independence in a referendum, said analyst at JS Global.

Attock Refinery (ATRL) resurrected from the ashes, with the crude refiner gaining 3 percent to close at Rs413 per share amid heavy share turnover of $14.6 million. Meanwhile, speculation was rife in Pakistan Oilfields (POL up 3.6pc) after the explorer encountered an un-quantified degree of hydrocarbons at an extraordinary depth of 18,500 feet/5,600 meters, said dealer at Topline Securities.

Index point leaders POL (up 3.6pc), PIBTL (gain 4.5pc), PPL (up 0.8pc), ENGRO (rose 0.7pc) & FATIMA (up 4.3pc) with positive contribution of 91 points conversely HBL (down 0 7pc) LUCK (slip 1pc) MEBL (down 2 3pc) BAHL (slump 1 4pc) & FCCL (down 2 4pc) held back 71 points from the upside.

Today’s gains were fuelled by Petro chain; E&Ps added 45 points lead by POL (39.5 points), OMCs 17points & Refinery 15 points. Transport also added 15 points as PIBTL neared its upper limit after hiatus. Cements (shed 40 points), Banks (down 38 points) & Power (held back 9.5 points) were losers.

Volumes were down 4 percent d/d at 140 million shares as compared to 147 million shares in the previous trading session. While traded value rose 12 percent at Rs6 billion/$57 million. Scrips of total 382 active companies were traded in the session of which 234 concluded in advance, 127 in decline while 21 remained unchanged.

BOP from the banking sector led the volume charts with 12.3 million shares exchanging hands. Market participants expect volatility to continue unless any unexpected clarity emerges over the ongoing political scenario.