KARACHI: Stocks continued the losing streak on Wednesday with the KSE-100 index recording a loss of 328 points or 0.74 per cent to close at 43,792.19, the lowest level in 2017.
The benchmark has shed 17pc value since its peak on May 24.
Investors caught their breath as the index started to sink as soon as trading began. It lost 1,093 points in the first two hours of trading, but found support over the 43,000-point level. It pared losses as value-hunters cherry-picked oil, banking and fertiliser stocks.
The index managed to claw back 700 points mid-session from its intraday low, prompting pundits to comment that the market had yet to find its bottom.
Market participation improved with the volume rising 16pc to 215 million shares from a day before. Major contribution to market participation came from second-tier stocks like K-Electric, TRG Pakistan and Engro Polymer and Chemicals. The traded value surged 27pc to Rs12.6 billion from a day ago.
Top index point decliners included Lucky Cement that went down 3.6pc, Hub Power 3.3pc, Engro Corp 2.8pc, D.G. Khan Cement 5pc and Sui Northern Gas Pipelines 4.7pc, shedding 265 points from the index. Oil and Gas Development Company went up 4.4pc, Habib Bank 2pc, Fauji Fertiliser 5pc, Pakistan Petroleum 3.1pc and Kot Addu Power 3.6pc.
The cement sector lost 169 points, oil marketing companies 71 points and auto assemblers 30 points. The exploration and production sector added 93 points while banks contributed 10 points.
“Value-seekers found the opportunity to selectively buy names in exploration and production, fertiliser and banking sectors,” stated analysts at Intermarket Securities. They added that the immediate-term outlook depends on politics, although there are pockets of value that will selectively see buying interest.