KARACHI: Pakistan equities closed Monday positive with benchmark KSE100 Index settling at 43,411 levels, up 0.9 percent. Market started off sideways in the morning session, however picked up later on the back of the cement sector leading gains, making an intraday high of +468 points. On the economic front, Pakistan’s trade deficit witnessed an increase of 21 percent YoY during eight months FY18, where imports grew by 17 percent YoY, and exports increased by 12 percent YoY. Trading volumes dropped by 22 percent day-on-day (DoD) to 110 million shares while value traded decreased to US$40 million. Equity analyst Maaz Mulla said expects market to remain volatile and dull with flows from the local institutions and foreigners directing the market. Top volume stocks were LOTCHEM (+3.44%) and UNITY (-1.79%). Today’s major contribution to the index came from LUCK (+2.55%), UBL (+1.74%), DGKC (+4.31%) and ENGRO (+1.45%) contributing +132 points to the index. On the flipside, major laggards of the index were MCB (-1.01%), ACPL (-0.62%) and FFBL (-0.47%) contributing -20 points to the index. Steel sector gained to close higher than its previous day close on back of rumors of increase in steel prices by different companies. ASL (+2.94%), ASTL (+1.96%) and ISL (+1.86%) were the major gainers of the sector. Published in Daily Times, March 13th 2018.