KARACHI: Another lacklustre day was witnessed at the bourse as the index closed marginally negative. The market struggled to find direction and investors remained confused.

At close, the Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index decreased 0.13% or 37.6 points to end at 29,691.31.

“Lack of an immediate trigger and stagnant progress on the political front is keeping locals very cautious despite foreign buying,” said Elixir Securities Analyst Faisal Bilwani.

“Cements traded mixed with DG Khan Cement (DGKC +2%) gaining ahead of earnings announcement next week while Lucky Cement (LUCK -1%) pared some of the recent gains on profit taking.

Stocks falter

“As expected, pharmaceuticals were volatile after sharp gains in the last few sessions with Glaxo SmithKline (GLAXO -2.75%), (Abbot Labs ABOT +1.3%) and Searle (SEARL -3.8%) declining.”

Bilwani expects the market will consolidate near 29,500 with a major breakthrough likely from the political front propelling it to test record highs. “Reiterate building positions in NML, UBL, MCB, Engro, PPL and KEL,” he said.

Meanwhile, Syed Faran Rizvi from JS Global said investors should remain cautious and accumulate high dividend-yielding stocks such as NCPL, Fatima and Kapco.

Trade volumes declined to 101 million shares compared to Tuesday’s tally of 133 million.

Shares of 389 companies were traded on Wednesday. Of these, 200 companies declined, 165 closed higher while 24 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day stood at Rs6.2 billion.

WorldCall Telecom was the volume leader with 7.1 million shares, losing Rs0.12 to close at Rs1.80. It was followed by Maple Leaf Cement with 5.6 million shares, gaining Rs0.06 to close at Rs28.85 and DGK Cement with 4.9 million shares, gaining Rs1.61 to close at Rs80.02.

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Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs452 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.

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