KARACHI: Oils pulled the benchmark index down with reported foreign selling and the trade deficit also dampening investor sentiment.

At close, the Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index fell 0.77% or 234.23 points to end at 30,120.99.

Elixir Securities analyst Faisal Bilwani said reported foreign selling, possible delay in OGDC divestment and sharp increase in trade deficit spooked investors with locals primarily institutions trimming positions.

“Oil & Gas Development Co. OGDC (PA -2.2%) continued the downward spiral, down as much as 12.5% from its recent high of Rs270 on anxiety over GDS issue while Pakistan State Oil (PSO PA -5%) hit its lower limit as investors see significant earnings impact from exchange and inventory losses,” he said.

“Engro Corp (ENRGO PA -4.8%) also hit the lower price limit intraday and failed to recover on reported selling by a local bank while this holding company’s newly listed power company, Engro Powergen Qadirpur, gained in provisional trading.

“Interestingly, retail-led excitement in consumers, autos and peripheries was undeterred and most stocks (INDU +4.4%, PAKT 4.5%, THAL 3.5% etc.) traded against broader market direction and helped benchmark to hold 30,000,” he said.

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“Locals are expected to remain sensitive to foreign flows. However, in the absence of large outflow or signs of reversal in recent trend, it is expected that institutional-led buying in index names now offer good cherry picking opportunities.”

Trade volumes fell to 212 million shares compared to Tuesday’s tally of 218 million.

Shares of 412 companies were traded on Wednesday. Of these, 210 companies declined, 185 closed higher while 17 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs10.7 billion.

Ghani Automobile was the volume leader with 24.1 million shares, gaining Rs0.93 to close at Rs6.96. It was followed by Dewan Motors with 12.35 million shares, gaining Rs1.00 to close at Rs10.03 and Fauji Cement with 9.2 million shares, losing Rs0.59 to close at Rs21.32.

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Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs240 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.

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