KARACHI: Pakistan equities skidded lower as profit-taking in financials, cements and E&Ps dragged the benchmark KSE-100 index to settle near 39,800.

At close on Wednesday, the Pakistan Stock Exchange’s benchmark index recorded a fall of 0.46% or 182.21 points to end at 39,809.58.

Elixir Securities, in its report, stated that stocks drifted after a sideways open with index heavy E&Ps contributing to early losses as investors tracked overnight dip in global crude.

“Financials followed suit and traded lower as nervous investors opted to book gains wary of lower inflation expectations for the month of August,” said analyst Ali Raza.

“Cements came under pressure after DG Khan Cement (DGKC PA -1%) announced brownfield expansion of 2.2MTPA in the north,” he remarked.

“Among laggards, index heavy Habib Bank (HBL PA -1.6%) dented the benchmark index most, followed by Hub Power (HUBC PA -1.2%), Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDC PA -1.1%), MCB Bank (MCB PA -0.7%), Kot Adu Power (KAPCO PA -1.5%) and Lucky Cement (LUCK PA -0.6%).

“As expected, most activity was seen in small and mid-cap plays with K-Electric (KEL PA +0%) dominating the volumes chart,” Raza added.

Meanwhile, JS Global analyst Nabeel Haroon said the market remained under pressure.

“Investor interest was seen in the automobile sector on the back of depreciating Yen. PSMC and HCAR were the top performers of the aforementioned sector, as they gained to close on their respective upper circuits,” said Haroon.

“OGDC (-1.11%), PPL (-0.09%) and POL (-0.32%) in the E&P sector lost value to close in the red zone, as crude oil prices declined to trade around $46/bl in anticipation that there will be surge in US oil inventory data,” he said.

“SHEL (+5%) in the OMC sector gained on the back of announcement made by the company that it will add 15 more retail outlets to its existing network of 780 outlets.”

Trade volumes fell to 350 million shares compared with Tuesday’s tally of 424 million.

Shares of 438 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 203 stocks closed higher, 218 declined while 17 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs11.4 billion.

K-Electric Limited was the volume leader with 32 million shares, remaining unchanged at Rs9.21. It was followed by Dewan Cement with 20.1 million shares, gaining Rs0.17 to close at Rs21.31 and Pace (Pakistan) Limited with 17.4 million shares, gaining Rs0.18 to close at Rs7.28.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs19.5 million during the trading session, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.

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