KARACHI: Pakistan equities closed marginally negative with the benchmark-100 index trading volatile in a band of 300 points.

Activity in the wider improved noticeably as turnover saw a 25% increase compared to previous week’s average.

At close on Tuesday, the Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index recorded a fall of 0.19% or 61.83 points to end at 32,791.71.

Elixir Securities, in its report, said the market opened on a negative note, led by declines in index heavy Exploration and Production (E&P), after international crude dropped by 5% overnight to near seven-year low.

“Despite falling crude oil prices, E&Ps saw locals buying primarily on the back of recent changes in oil sector where most of the companies tend to gain on new discoveries.

“Gains in the wider market barring oils pushed the benchmark index to test 33k intra-day.

“Profit-taking was witnessed at highs particularly in fertilizer sector which recently came into limelight over prospects of better gas availability,” it added.

Meanwhile, JS Global analyst Arhum Ghous said major contributors to the index activity were Hub Power Company Limited (HUBC -1.66%) and Kot Addu Power Company Limited (KAPCO -2.31%).

“Portfolio shifting was witnessed during the market as investors moved out of defensive stocks (HUBC -1.66% and KAPCO +2.31%) to re-allocate to higher beta stocks mainly in the cement sector Fauji Cement Company Limted (FCCL +0.87%) and Maple Leaf Cement Factory Limited (MLCF +1.41%).

“The cement sector can outperform going forward on the back of coal prices (a key input cost) declining further post a likely hike by the US Federal Reserve on December 16,” said Ghous.

“PIA fell -2.58% as the government ordinance of PIA’s privatisation faced strong resistance in the parliament by opposition parties,” he added.

Trade volumes rose to 192 million shares compared with Monday’s tally of 155 million.

Shares of 348 companies were traded on Tuesday. At the end of the day, 156 stocks closed higher, 171 declined and 21 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs9.4 billion.

K-Electric Limited was the volume leader with 21 million shares gaining Rs0.19 to finish at Rs7.56. It was followed by Jahangir Siddiqui and Company with 15.5 million shares, gaining Rs0.67 to close at Rs19.50 and Pak Elektron with 14.9 million shares, gaining Rs2.28 to close at Rs66.53.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs314 million worth of shares during the trade session, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.

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