PSX loses 152pts in dull session

KARACHI - Stocks closed bearish Monday amid pressure in cement, banking and oil scrips. Volatility prevailed on the first session of the week as Pakistan Stock Exchange benchmark 100-share index shed 151.77 points to close at 34567.52 points.

The oil and gas sector remained under pressure after global crude oil prices came down from their high over the weekend to trade around $46.80/barrel (Brent). Major laggards of the aforementioned sector were NRL (down 2.30%), ATRL (down 2.07%) and OGDC that decreased by 1.89%, dealers said. Profit-taking was witnessed in the cement and banking sectors amid increased political noise and uncertainty. LUCK (down 1.19%) and FABL (down 2.76%) were the major laggards of their respective sectors.

Despite gas tariff reduction, the fertilizer failed to perform and remained under pressure. FFBL (down 2.58%) was the top laggard whereas FATIMA (up 0.42%) was the only script to close positively in the fertilizer sector, observed analyst Ahmed Saeed Khan. Volume decreased by 27% to 185m shares while value decreased by 47% to Rs 7.0b/67$m.

After rising last week, profit-taking was seen in banking stocks. MCB, HBL and UBL declined by 2.4%, 0.8% and 0.5% respectively, brokers said.

Analyst Ahsan Mehanti said activity was led by second and third tier scrips. Speculations over the federal budget levies on corporate sector, rising political uncertainty and weak earnings outlook in the banking, textile sector played a catalyst role in bearish close amid institutional support on strong financial results in the power and auto stocks, analysts added.

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