KARACHI: Caution prevailed at the stock market on Thursday as a number of factors combined to keep activities at a low level.

Profit-taking from foreign investors and political uncertainty dominated investor sentiments as the index dropped 96.40 points.

At close, the benchmark 100-share index stood at 33,742.88 points, registering a decrease of 0.28%.

Topline Securities, in its report, said the Karachi stock market fell as investors trimmed their positions amid falling international equity markets. “They feared outflow of foreign funds,” it said.

According to the research house, following the rise in international crude prices, stocks of oil companies like Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDC) and Pakistan Oilfields (POL) continued their rally and rose 1.6% and 1.4%, respectively.

“IGI Insurance gained 4.7% after it announced that it intended to divest its holding in Treet Corporation. On this news, Treet fell 5%.”

An analyst of Adam Securities said profit-taking dragged the KSE-100 index into the red zone.

“Investors preferred to book profits as they are not willing to hold on to their positions for the next day amid political uncertainty,” said the analyst.

“However, consistent foreign buying is providing major support to the equity market.”

Trade volumes fell to 159 million shares compared to 214 million on Wednesday.

Shares of 359 companies were traded. Of these, 121 companies closed higher, 218 saw a decline and 20 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs8.5 billion.

Byco Petroleum was the volume leader with 23.9 million shares, gaining Rs0.74 to close at Rs13.16. It was followed by K-Electric Limited with 9.1 million shares, losing Rs0.10 to close at Rs7.66 and TRG Pakistan Limited with 8.8 million shares, gaining Rs0.27 to close at Rs19.16.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs293 million worth of shares during the session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.

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