KARACHI: Pakistan equities edged up in second consecutive session on Tuesday with benchmark KSE100 Index settling above 43,600 points level. Pakistan equities reiterated its positive momentum as Sadiq Sanjrani was elected as Senate Chairman, an independent candidate from Balochistan. He won with a margin of 11 votes in the 104-member Upper House. Moreover Saleem Mandviwalla of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) received 54 votes to win the deputy chairman seat. Activity also jumped by nearly half compared to previous day with turnover in wider market clocking in at $ 61 million. Gas utilities came in limelight and closed higher on positive news flow of government considering increasing gas prices by 5-7 percent as Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL) gained 2.5 percent and Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Company Limited (SNGPL) gained 1 percent. Cements closed mixed however saw good exchange of hands post another round of reported increase in cement prices in North. Financials closed positive with United Bank (UBL) and MCB Bank leading gains in the sector on reported foreign buying. Muhammad Arbash, an analyst at Elixir Securities sees market to build on Tuesday’s momentum and KSE-100 index likely testing 44000 psychological barrier today. Clarity on political front and possible announcement of amnesty scheme can boost investors’ confidence going forward, added Arbash. Research analyst Maaz Mulla expects market to remain volatile and dull with flows from the local institutions and foreigners directing the market. Major contribution to total market volumes came from ANL (+5.75%), NRSL (+3.54%) and PAEL (+1.66%) constituting 25 million shares out of the All Shares of 152 million shares. Exploration and Production (E&P) sector closed higher as crude oil prices edged higher in international market. POL (+1.01%) and OGDC (+0.26%) were the major gainers of the mentioned sector. Steel sector continued to show positive momentum on back of yesterday’s rumors of increase in steel prices. INIL (+2.05%), MUGHAL (+2.87%) and ASTL (+1.01%) closed in the green zone. Published in Daily Times, March 14th 2018.