KARACHI: Stocks continued to bleed with the KSE-100 ending negative for the third successive session amid heavy selling by foreign investors in index-heavy banking and blue-chip stocks.
The index fell despite news that Pakistan escaped being placed on the global terror financing watchlist after member states failed to reach consensus in the Financial Action Task Force meeting in Paris, according to foreign minister Khawaja Asif's tweet.
Reacting to the positive news, the KSE-100 increased over 300 points in the first half hour of trading, hitting an intraday high of 43,623.59 before profit-booking and substantial selling by foreign investors dragged the index lower.
At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index finished with a decrease of 375.17 points or 0.87% to settle at 42,919.78.
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Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs931 million during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.
According to a Topline Securities report, the market continued to slide for the third consecutive day as investors remained sceptic about Pakistan's inclusion in the FATF watchlist despite Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif's tweet that no consensus has been reached.
"The negative sentiment was further aggravated by selling seen in banks amid concerns on an unfavourable decision for UBL against non-compliance of anti-money laundering laws of US," the report added.
Market watch: KSE-100 slips as turnover hits second lowest level for 2018
The top 10 index point decliners included UBL (-4%), HBL (-1.8%), ENGRO (-2.7%), OGDC (-1.9%), MCB (-1.8%), LUCK (-1.5%), PSO (-2.2%), MLCF (-4.5%), PPL (-0.8%) & HUBC (-1%); withholding 353 points.
Sector wise data shows commercial banks withheld 182 points from the index; oil & gas exploration (E&P) withheld 59 points, whereas cement sector eroded 49 points from the index.
Overall, trading volumes rose to 188 million shares compared with Tuesday's tally of 170 million.
Shares of 350 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 156 stocks closed higher, 177 declined while 17 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs8.5 billion.
Azgard Nine was the volume leader with 15.3 million shares, losing Rs1 to close at Rs18.15. It was followed by Lotte Chemical with 9.5 million shares, gaining Rs0.12 to close at Rs8.83 and TRG Pakistan with 9.3 million shares, gaining Rs0.49 to close at Rs36.78.