Pakistan equities fell to 27,500 levels as politics continued to dent sentiment.

At the end, the Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index fell 1.53% or 432.24 points to end at 27,811.35.

Sibtain Mustafa of Elixir Securities said state institutions and foreign buying helped limit losses.

“Sellers were mainly individuals and local institutions,” he said. “With the sit-in now in its fourteenth day, political forces are very active in finding a common ground. However, both government and protesting leaders refuse to budge, increasing fears of some sort of intervention.”

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According to the analyst, there was significant improvement in broader market turnover and off market crosses, reportedly by foreign investors, to help the market settle at current levels barring any further negative on political front.

“With the index trading at an attractive price/earning multiple of 7.8, we maintain our target of 38,000 and see a very sharp bounce back as the dust settles,” concluded Mustafa.

JS Global analyst Arhum Ghous said Lucky Cement hit its lower circuit as the largest cement exporter lost ground on news that South African authorities are probing dumping activities by Pakistan-based producers. He advised a defensive strategy with a focus on high dividend yield stocks.

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Trade volumes increased to 132 million shares compared with Tuesday’s tally of 76 million.

Shares of 321 companies were traded on Wednesday. Share prices of 222 companies declined, 79 closed higher while 20 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs6.8 billion.

TRG Pakistan Limited was the volume leader with 8.1 million shares, gaining Rs0.16 to close at Rs10.06. It was followed by Pakistan Elektron Limited with 7.6 million shares, losing Rs1.18 to close at Rs28.36 and Maple Leaf Cement with 7.6 million shares, declining Rs0.95 to close at Rs25.54.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs230 million during the trading session, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.

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