The Pakistan Stock Exchange endured lacklustre activity on Tuesday as weak investor sentiment snapped a four-session winning streak and as a result the benchmark KSE-100 index closed down by 36 points.
Weak global cues, coupled with a drop in international equity markets, prompted market participants to offload stocks.
Encouraging cement sales, which depicted a growth of 11% in December, led to a turnaround in cement and steel stocks after they attracted modest selling on Monday.
Earlier, trading began with a plunge, however, buying activity during early hours helped pare losses and pushed the index upwards. A lack of positive triggers that could give direction to the market weighed on investors’ sentiment and they took a cautious position, with the index ending the session with a slight loss.
At close, the benchmark KSE-100 index recorded a decrease of 36.03 points, or 0.08%, to settle at 44,650.43 points.
Arif Habib Limited, in its report, stated that the market came under selling pressure from the start of trading session, which was primarily caused by overnight decline in crude oil prices as well as profit-booking in power, oil and gas marketing and fertiliser sectors.
Cement and steel stocks bounced back after Monday’s selling activity on the back of a healthy growth in cement dispatches.
Chemical sector stocks also performed well on the close of quarter and anticipation of better earnings, the report said.
Overall, trading volumes rose to 582.4 million shares compared with Monday’s tally of 540.8 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs24.2 billion.
Shares of 409 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 221 stocks closed higher, 179 declined and nine remained unchanged.
Hum Network was the volume leader with 68.8 million shares, gaining Rs0.24 to close at Rs6.02. It was followed by Pak Refinery with 58.2 million shares, gaining Rs1.7 to close at Rs24.4 and TRG Pakistan with 31.1 million shares, gaining Rs4.03 at Rs87.77.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs74.6 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.