KARACHI: The stock market underwent a minor correction on Thursday, ending a seven-session winning streak with the KSE-100 index slipping below the 45,000-point level.
Profit-taking was witnessed across the board amid a chopping trading session that saw much less activity day-on-day. At one point, the KSE-100 index dropped 449 points from its intra-day high of 45,179 before some buying helped the market recover.
At close, the KSE-100 Index ended with a decrease of 246.50 points or 0.55% to finish at 44,816.71 points.
Elixir Securities' analyst Zainul Abedin said equities closed in the red with the benchmark KSE-100 Index settling below 45,000 and turnover dropping to $66 million, down 50% day-on-day.
"The market opened on a positive note but failed to make a follow-through during the day as investors opted to book profits in specific sectors such as oils and cements," Abedin commented.
Market watch: Foreign investors continue to buy as KSE-100 moves past 45,000
Major drag was witnessed in Pakistan Oilfields (POL PA -4.6%) as the stock extended losses on result disappointment on Wednesday, and settled near its lower price limit. On the other hand, sideboard plays had a field day as many retail favourites and second-tier names remained volume leaders
"We see consolidation in the near-term with 45,000/400 emerging as key resistance levels for the KSE-100 Index in the coming days," the analyst added.
JS Global analyst Maaz Mulla said the index remained volatile throughout the day, making an intraday high of 116 to a low of 333 points, to finally close at 44,817 level.
"Profit-booking was seen in the market mainly due to investors' concerns in the E&P sector," Mulla commented.
E&P sector led the decline in the local bourse where POL (-4.64%) and OGDC (-1.21%) lost value to close in the red, cumulatively contributing 90 points to the index. Selling pressure caused decline in the cement sector as well as heavyweights such as LUCK (-1.62%), DGKC (-0.59%) and PIOC (-1.70%) decreased the most.
Market watch: KSE-100 ends flat after see-saw ride
Negative sentiments were witnessed in the banking space too, where UBL (-1.18%), HBL (-0.98%), BAFL (-0.80%), ABL (-2.17%) lost value in today's trading session. The pharmaceutical sector closed positive on the back of the news that the government has approved increase in drug prices in line with inflation.
"Moving forward, we expect the market to remain volatile due to the last day of futures rollover and recommend investors to accumulate value stocks on dips," he added.
Overall, trading volume decreased to 245 million shares, compared with Wednesday tally of 339 million.
Shares of 374 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 155 stocks closed higher, 195 declined while 24 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs9.9 billion.
Dost Steels was the volume leader with 24.8 million shares, gaining Rs0.66 to close at Rs12.77. It was followed by Bank of Punjab with 17.5 million shares, gaining Rs0.27 to close at Rs9.85 and K-Electric with 13.9 million shares, gaining Rs0.21 to close at Rs6.78.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs417 million during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.
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