KARACHI: The stock market had another dull session on Monday as many investors stayed away in the absence of major triggers and the benchmark index finished its fifth successive session in the negative territory.
Despite a bullish open, the KSE-100 index failed to sustain the momentum and fell into the red zone. Investors cheered news of expected inflow of $4.1 billion, which would boost foreign currency reserves of Pakistan.
However, weak domestic cues and a lack of triggers sparked selling pressure. Sentiments were further dented as India announced that it had blocked Pakistan's waters from its three eastern rivers.
At the end of trading, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded a decrease of 26.12 points, or 0.07%, to settle at 38,924.11.
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According to a Topline Securities' report, the trading session remained listless despite announcement by Finance Minister Asad Umar, over the weekend, that Pakistan would receive $4.1 billion in coming weeks.
"Expectations of further weakening of macros and delay in getting an International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout kept investors sceptical about the market's outlook," it added.
Commercial banks added 35 points to the index while decline in stocks of fertiliser and exploration and production companies resulted in an overall drop of 26 points in the KSE-100 index.
JS Global analyst Maaz Mulla said the KSE-100 index remained lacklustre throughout the session with persistently low trading volumes due to a lack of investor confidence amid limited triggers.
"Very limited participation was witnessed in cement and banking stocks where Cherat Cement (+0.3%), DG Khan Cement (+0.4%), Maple Leaf Cement (+1.1%), Lucky Cement (+0.2%), Meezan Bank (+2%), United Bank (+1.3%) and Bank Alfalah (+0.3%) remained higher than their previous day's close."
Oil and Gas Development Company (-0.8%), Pakistan Petroleum (-0.3%) and Pakistan Oilfields (-0.4%) from the exploration and production sector closed in the red zone on the back of decrease in crude oil prices in the international market.
Market watch: KSE-100 loses 274 points amid lack of positive triggers
"We expect the overall lacklustre sentiment to persist due to absence of any major triggers. We recommend investors to stay cautious," Mulla added.
Overall, trading volumes decreased to 67.7 million shares compared with Friday's tally of 73.98 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs3.3 billion.
Shares of 339 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 148 stocks closed higher, 167 declined and 24 remained unchanged.
The Bank of Punjab was the volume leader with 16.3 million shares, gaining Rs0.23 to close at Rs14.09. It was followed by K-Electric Limited with 4.1 million shares, gaining Rs0.03 to close at Rs6.04 and Dewan Cement with 2.96 million shares, gaining Re1 to close at Rs12.67.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs1.02 billion worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.