KARACHI: Pakistan Equities closed marginally positive Tuesday with benchmark KSE100 Index closing at 40,759 levels, up 75 points. Despite dull activity, the market appeared to consolidate as prices have fallen down to extremely attractive levels. Volumes improved by 24 percent day-on-day (DoD) to 139 million shares, compared to 112 million shares in the previous trading session. Negative sentiments were due to uncertainty ahead of a mini-budget, while positive sentiments were attributable to an upcoming textile package as well as news that IMF staff will visit Pakistan at the end of September. News towards the end of the day that the trade deficit narrowed by 2.9% in August also added to the positive sentiment, said an equity analyst at IIS Securities. Market kicked off on a positive note, however it could not sustain the early gains making an intra-day low of -164 points. Recovery was seen towards the end, dominated mostly by retails plays with Unity Foods Limited (UNITY) gained 5 percent, Fauji Foods Limited (FFL) gained 5 percent, TRG Pakistan limited (TRG) gained 3 percent closing in green and clocking amongst the top 5 volume leaders. Bank Al-Habib was the only notable stock from the Blue Chips on the Volume Leaders Board which traded over 11 million shares on reported crossings between institutional investors. Meanwhile Finance Minister Asad Umar’s assurance of reducing the energy tariffs for Export Oriented Sectors, expectations of further Pakistani Rupee Depreciation and anticipation of Textile Package brought the sector in limelight. Mixed sentiment was witnessed in the banking space where HBL losing 0.67 percent, UBL losing 0.51 percent and MCB losing 0.87 percent closed in the red zone while BAFL gaining 0.56 percent and HMB gaining 0.48 percent closed green. Crude oil prices edged higher to $67.90/bbl in international market after 3 consecutive sessions of declining trend with PPL (+1.06%), OGDC (+0.75%) and POL (+0.20%) being the major movers of the mentioned sector. Published in Daily Times, September 12th 2018.