KARACHI: The KSE-100 Index succumbed to selling pressure across the board, dropping 337.32 points on Wednesday as unabated institutional selling dented investor sentiment.
Trading began on a negative note with the KSE-100 experiencing a minor dip as Tuesday's data of heavy net selling by foreign investors discouraged participation. Selling pressure increased as the day progressed, sending the index to hit an intra-day low of 43,215.72 points amid lack of positive triggers and absence of retail interest.
At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index ended with a decrease of 337.32 points or 0.77% to settle at 43,353.04.
JS Global analyst Danish Ladhani said the bourse remained negative for most part of the day and entered the positive range for a short period only.
A spur in activity was noted in heavyweight banks among whom Habib Bank (+3.31%), United Bank (+1.82%), Allied Bank (+0.86%) and MCB Bank (+0.20%) closed in the green on the back of Tuesday's news about pension payments.
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The Supreme Court in its decision fixed the minimum pension payment at Rs8,000 with annual increase of 5%.
Moreover, Bank AL Habib (-1.25%) announced its result for 2017, posting earnings per share (EPS) of Rs7.78 with cash pay-out of Rs3 per share.
Meezan Bank (-3.39%) also announced its result for the year and recorded a consolidated EPS of Rs5.46. It declared a final cash pay-out of Rs1.25 per share.
Pakistan Telecommunication Company (-5.12%), in its financial result for the year 2017, announced a consolidated EPS of Rs0.85 with no cash pay-out.
In the exploration and production sector, Pakistan Petroleum (-0.08%) and Oil and Gas Development Company (-0.48%) closed in the red.
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"Moving forward, we expect the market to remain volatile with flows from local institutions and foreigners guiding the direction," Ladhani said.
Overall, trading volumes rose slightly to 207 million shares compared with Tuesday's tally of 203.6 million.
Shares of 370 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 76 stocks closed higher, 280 declined while 14 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs7.8 billion.
Unity Foods was the volume leader with 11.5 million shares, losing Rs1.26 to close at Rs24.76. It was followed by Fauji Foods with 11.4 million shares, losing Rs1.33 to close at Rs25.36 and K-Electric with 10.7 million shares, losing Rs0.10 to close at Rs6.38.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs129 million during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.