KARACHI: The stock market endured a lacklustre session on Monday as political noise and economic concerns kept investors on the sidelines.
The KSE-100 index opened lower and continued to decline, dropping almost 300 points in intra-day trading. Later, the index staged a slight recovery but finished in the red zone for the second consecutive session.
At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index registered a decrease of 195.81 points or 0.47% to settle at 41,239.89.
According to Elixir Securities, Pakistan equities retreated for the second day following gains last week with the benchmark index settling above 41,200 points, down 0.5%.
"Overall, the market recorded a very dull trading session as general lack of interest from institutions and retail investors alike resulted in a dismal turnover of just under $35 million on the KSE All-share Index, the lowest since May 2015," the report added.
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The index moved in a band of almost 300 points with some exception as trading volumes in Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDC) and Maple Leaf Cement went beyond one million shares.
"(We) see range-bound trading in the near term with 41,200 remaining an important resistance level for the index to terminate the ongoing bearish structure," the report said.
JS Global analyst Maaz Mulla said the market remained under pressure as the index dropped to hit the intra-day low at -294 points.
"Negativity in the market can be attributed to the cautious stance adopted by investors ahead of the semi-annual review of the MSCI EM index," Mulla observed.
Mixed sentiments were witnessed in the banking sector where National Bank of Pakistan (-0.96%) and United Bank (-0.90%) declined while Habib Bank (+0.05%) and MCB Bank (+0.86%) closed in the positive zone.
Selling pressure was seen in the cement sector where Maple Leaf Cement (-2.90%), Cherat Cement (-2.39%), Fauji Cement (-1.21%) and DG Khan Cement (-0.84%) lost value to close in the red.
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"Moving forward, we recommend investors to stay cautious at current levels where any upside can be considered as an opportunity to reduce short-term positions or book profits," he added.
Overall, trading volumes fell to 87 million shares compared with Friday's tally of 128 million.
Shares of 357 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 117 stocks closed higher, 214 declined while 26 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs3.7 billion.
TRG Pakistan was the volume leader with 13 million shares, gaining Rs1.36 to close at Rs34.50. It was followed by Azgard Nine with 7.56 million shares, gaining Rs0.12 to close at Rs14.36 and Dost Steels with 6.99 million shares, gaining Rs0.16 to close at Rs13.44.
Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs206.7 million during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.