KARACHI: The stock market endured a slight dip on Wednesday as investors continued to capitalise on the opportunity of short gains amid sporadic profit-taking.
At close, the Pakistan Stock Exchange's (PSX) benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded a fall of 84.28 points, or 0.17%, to end at 48,605.14.
According to Elixir Securities' analyst Ali Raza, intermittent phases of profit-taking brought the index towards lows at the end of the day. "The market, after a brief positive open, entered the red zone, recording a short phase of profit-taking," he said.
"This was followed by a steady recovery that pushed the benchmark index towards highs over 48,900 by mid-session. However, the market couldn't sustain gains as profit-bookers once again became active at highs and dragged the index lower that finished around 48,600."
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Major dent came from cement, fertiliser, auto and industrial sideboards while financial and oil stocks closed on a mixed note.
"Major support came from key index names such as Habib Bank (+1.1%), Engro Corp (+0.9%), Pakistan Petroleum (+1.4), Oil and Gas Development Company (+0.8%) and MCB Bank (+0.9%) as they all closed in the green and kept losses of the wider market in check," he added.
Meanwhile, according to JS Research, the pressure in the market was on the back of investor scepticism about political developments in the country.
"The day's major laggards in the index were TRG Pakistan (-4.90%), International Steels Limited (-4.97%) and Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (-1.72%) as they cumulatively contributed -61 points to the index," said analyst Arhum Ghous.
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"On the flipside, Pakistan Petroleum Limited (+1.43%) and Oil and Gas Development Company (+0.77%) were major leaders of the index as oil prices rebounded from its near 2017 lows and recent data showed a much higher-than-expected fall in US crude stocks."
The banking sector closed (+0.43%) higher than the previous day as UBL (+0.29%), MCB Bank (+0.85%) and Bank Alfalah (+2.44%) closed in the green zone, he added.
Overall, trading volumes rose to 260 million shares compared with Tuesday's tally of 199 million.
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Shares of 369 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 130 stocks closed higher and 222 declined while 17 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs13.1 billion.
K-Electric Limited was the volume leader with 32.1 million shares, recording no change in its stock price that stood at Rs8. It was followed by Engro Polymer with 25.4 million shares, gaining Rs0.4 to close at Rs28.92 and TRG Pakistan Limited with 24.3 million shares, losing Rs2.73 to close at Rs53.02.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs306 million during the trading session, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.
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