KARACHI: The stock market endured another round of dull trading on Thursday as the benchmark index once again retreated into the red territory.
The KSE-100 index traded in a narrow range in the early hours of trading amid lack of interest on the part of investors. However, by midday the index shed nearly 170 points as selling pressure persisted. Selling in blue chips was more pronounced, triggered mainly by activity in Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDC) stock.
According to a report of AHL Research, the cement sector, which sustained pressure in past sessions, buckled under the pressure and stock prices came down by the end of the session despite a continued decline in international coal prices.
At the end of trading, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded a decrease of 120.32 points, or 0.31%, to settle at 38,808.61.
Topline Securities, in its report, stated that the market maintained its dull momentum with 8% decline in trading volumes as news about non-materialisation of a $3.2-billion oil facility from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) kept investors on the sidelines.
"Resultantly, the market closed at the 10-session low of 38,809 points, down 0.3%," the report added.
Market watch: KSE-100 snaps six-day losing streak, inches up slightly
Small stocks like The Bank of Punjab, Unity Foods and Lotte Chemical cumulatively contributed 40% to the total volumes. Furthermore, NetSol notified the stock exchange about implementation of its new contract in China for a German auto manufacturer, which helped the stock to gain around 4% in intra-day trading.
Among laggards, cement and exploration and production stocks struck 43 and 31 points respectively off the index while fertiliser companies added 15 points.
Overall, trading volumes decreased to 85.9 million shares compared with Wednesday's tally of 93.5 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs3.3 billion.
Shares of 329 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 106 stocks closed higher, 212 declined and 11 remained unchanged.
The Bank of Punjab was the volume leader with 18.5 million shares, losing Rs0.04 to close at Rs14.37. It was followed by Unity Foods with 11.8 million shares, gaining Re1 to close at Rs14.17 and OGDC with 4.7 million shares, losing Rs2.08 to close at Rs142.94.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs1.15 billion worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.