LAHORE - The PSX witnessed a lackluster session on Tuesday, where the benchmark KSE-100 index made an intraday high of +158 points and an intraday low of -376 points to close at 44,233, down by 224 points.

Traded volumes increased by 47 percent to 282 million shares in Tuesday's trading session while value traded increased to $86 million. WTL (-7.22 percent ) led the volumes with more than 35m shares exchanging hands on back of news that the stock has been placed in the defaulter counter segment.

Banking sector led the declining trend as heavyweight stocks such as NBP (-1.05 percent), HBL (-3.92 percent), UBL (-3.26 percent) and MCB (-1.41 percent) witnessed profit-taking, cumulatively dragging the index down by 225 points. Investors interest was witnessed in the steel sector as ASL (+3.47 percent), DSL (+3.04 percent) and ISL (+0.61 percent) closed in the green. FFC (+2.37 percent ) from the fertilizer sector declared its result for 2017, where the company posted an EPS of Rs8.72 and DPS of Rs3.0, both of which came in line with expectations.

Experts said that equities closed lower as investors booked profits despite reduced political noise and announcement of Senate Election on Mar 3, 2018, paving way for timely conduct of General Elections.

Pressure was seen in banking sector as investors opted for profit-taking after Monday's gains in banking stocks amid hike in policy rate (+25bps to 6 percent). They said that downward rally in the Index from the last trading session continued to trouble investors, who choose to remain cautious in yesterday's session. After the shaky start, bears continued to push the market down with thin volumes.

Experts anticipate similar downward movement and expect the index to test its near-term support at 44,150 level and said recovery above the current level will be limited.

They recommend investors to remain cautious for the coming trading sessions and capitalize on intraday trading opportunities. Similar trading strategy is advised for individual stocks as most scrips are in the consolidation mode and closed in the negative zone.