The bulls paraded the bourse as Pakistan Stock Market (PSX) ended the last trading session of the week on a cheerful note as it gained 402 points to close at 40,916 points level, only 84 points short of touching 41,000 mark. Throughout the day, the market sentiments were upbeat recording decent on account of back to back news on the economic front which invigorated investors’ confidence. Irfan Saeed, Senior Vice President, BMA capital Management , said the stock market edged higher by the rally, led by index heavyweight oil and gas exploration , amid speculations over a possible acquisition of two major oil exploration companies (Pakistan Petroleum Limited & OGDCL) by Russia. He added major buying by the mutual funds worth $5.5 million is an indication that the market will continue its rally till the year end, as understandably the mutual funds will continue its buying spree to drive up their value to post upbeat results. Crossing the 41,000-mark, the KSE-100 Index recorded its intraday high at 41,077.82 after gaining 563.65 points. The KMI-30 Index appreciated by 937.90 points to end at 65,149.89, while the KSE All Share Index increased by 278.41 points, closing at 29,320.16. The overall trading volumes improved by 9% from 227.02 million shares in the previous session to 270.43 million shares. Shares worth Rs11.64 billion were traded on Friday. Sectors propping up the index included oil and gas exploration by gaining 167.93 points, banking 76.57 point and oil and gas marketing 54.66 points. Among the companies, Pak Petroleum Limited added 92.24 points, Oil and Gas Development Company Limited 76.70 points and Habib Bank Limited 33.80 points and remained the top contributors to the index. The volume chart was led by Unity Foods Limited , The Bank of Punjab and Fauji Foods, exchanging 28.23 million, 14.83 million and 13.58 million shares, respectively. The most points taken off the index was by Fauji Fertilizer Company Limited which stripped the index of 9 points followed by THAL Limited with 8 points, ENGRO with 8 points, Maple Leaf Cement Factory Limited with 6 points and MARI Petroleum Company Limited with 5 points. Meanwhile, Pakistan and the World Bank on Friday signed the financing and project agreement $406.6 million for Khyber Pass Economic Corridor Project (KPEC). Economic Affairs Division in its statement, said “The project aims to construct a 48km-long four-lane, dual carriageway access-controlled motorway from Peshawar to Torkham.” According to the statement, the project envisages the use of public-private partnerships to develop clusters of economic zones and expressways. The connecting transport infrastructure and economic zones would provide a strong foundation for private businesses to invest in these Speaking on the occasion, Economic Affairs Minister Hammad Azhar said the signing of this important project indicates the World Bank’s resolve to support the development agenda of Pakistan. World Bank Country Director PatchamuthuIllangovan, while appreciating the reform initiatives of the incumbent government, said that the bank stands committed to extending all possible facilitation and financial support to the government in its efforts to promote economic activities in the country and to put the economy back on track. Economic Affairs Division Secretary Dr Syed Pervaiz Abbas signed the project’s loan agreement on behalf of the Pakistani government while a representative of National Highway Authority (NHA) signed the project agreement. World Bank Country Director PatchamuthuIllangovan signed the agreements on behalf of the bank. In Asia, Stock markets traded higher over speculations that Washington and Beijing have agreed to a phase one trade deal in principle. In japan, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 gained 2.55% ,as shares of index heavyweight Fast Retailing soared above 3.5%. Bucking up , Hong kong’s Hang Seng traded2.57% higher to clock at 27687.76 amid shares of Tencent and HSBC soared 3.44% and 2.99%, respectively. South Korea’s Kospigained1.54%as shares of SK Hynix skyrocketed 5.4%.Mainland Chinese stocks rose on the day, with the Shanghai composite gaining 1.78% to around 2,967.68 and the Shenzhen component up 1.71% to 10,004.62. Meanwhile International Brent crude oil prices surged 1.82%to its highest in nearly three months as progress in resolving the US-China trade dispute and Britain’s general election result appeared to lift two clouds that have been dampening investor appetite for risk. The 18-month trade war has been a dampener for oil prices, while uncertainty around Brexit has also weighed. Britain’s ruling Conservative Party won a large majority in Thursday’s general election, giving it the power to take the country out of the European Union. However, the stock markets’ rally will take a hit as the trading opens on Monday as the US President Donald Trump said a Wall Street Journal report on a trade deal with China was completely wrong. The announcement erased euro zone government bond yields’ daily rises , having shot up as much as 5 bps in early trade. If the tariffs were to go into effect on Sunday November 15thas threatened, nearly all Chinese imports into the US would be subject to US Tariffs.