KARACHI: After a relentless charge for over a week, bulls took a breather on Tuesday with the benchmark KSE-100 index shedding a marginal 19.63 points to close at 42,113.91.

The index opened positive and hovered within a band of 403 points, touching an intra-day high of 42,413 points. The local bourse, in line with global equity markets, watched anxiously as the voting for US presidential election began.

Overall, the volume of shares traded during the day increased by 44 per cent to 480 million shares from 333m a day ago. The trading value rose 43pc to Rs20.3 billion from Rs14.1bn. Retail favourites, the second- and third-tier scrips, staged a comeback on the volume leaders’ list.

Fauji Cement (FCCL) gained 5pc to close at its upper circuit, contributing 26 points to the index, due to enticing valuations and the realisation that the fallout from an accident at its plant was not as bad as it was initially thought.

Profit-taking was witnessed in the banking sector where Habib Bank (HBL) fell 1.03pc, United Bank (UBL) 1.33pc, Bank Alfalah 0.85pc, National Bank of Pakistan 0.96pc and Allied Bank 0.8pc.

With regards to contribution to the KSE-100 index, HBL, UBL, Lucky Cement (down 1.1pc), Hub Power Company (down 0.9pc) and the Oil and Gas Development Company (down 0.61pc) took away 103 points. In contrast, FCCL, PIBTL (up 4.73pc) and DG Khan Cement (up 2pc) added 63 points to the index.

Analysts said investor in­te­rest was seen in the cement sector on the back of 13pc year-on-year growth in cement sales in October. DGKC, FCCL, Cherat Cem­ent (up 2.97pc), Pioneer Ce­ment (up 2.64pc) and Maple Leaf Cement (up 3.15pc) closed well into green.

Pharmaceuticals came under selling pressure after coming under scrutiny of the Competition Comm­is­si­on of Pakistan. Searle Pak­istan (down 0.67pc), Glaxo­SmithKline (down 1.06pc), Ferozsons (down 0.83pc) and Abbott Pakistan (down 0.42pc) subsequently closed in the red amid profit-taking


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