Pakistani stocks ended higher on Wednesday, led by sharp gains in banking shares amid expectations of healthy financial results, and dealerspredicted the market would remain steady in coming days.
The Karachi Stock Exchange's benchmark 100-share index ended 0.32 percent, or 37.97 points, higher at11,886.02. Volume was 99.78 million shares compared with 110million shares traded on Tuesday.
Most of the leading banks have been performing well in recent weeks and we expect investor interest in the sector to continue as banks are expected to report healthy full-year results next month, dealers said.
On Wednesday, Bank Alfalah, United Bank Ltd (UBL) and Allied Bank all closed at their upper locks, or 5 percent higher. Other banks also posted gains.
An announcement by the Abu Dhabi Group that it has agreed to sell a 20 percent stake in UBL to Bestway (Holding) Ltd at an undisclosed price also fuelled interest in the lender.
Zakaria said investor interest was also witnessed in oil stocks, in anticipation of an expected rise in retail fuel prices later this week.