KARACHI: The local stock market closed in the red for the third successive day, with the KSE-100 index taking a correction of 71 points (0.18 per cent) to close at 39,738.
Volume of shares traded rose to 365 million on Thursday from 351m shares a day ago and the value also jumped to Rs13.7 billion from Rs11.4bn.
Selling in the heavyweight oil and gas sector on the back of declining crude oil prices kept the stocks under pressure. The Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDC; -0.11pc), Pakistan Oilfields (POL; -1.34pc) and Pakistan Petroleum (PPL; -0.32pc) stood out as the top laggards in the exploration and production sector. National Refinery (NRL; -1.07pc), Attock Refinery (ATRL; -1.13pc) and Pakistan State Oil (PSO; -0.81pc) also remained weak.
Besides lack of adequate triggers, local investors also worried over net foreign outflows in the outgoing month. Despite the MSCI upgrade in June and subsequent foreign inflows of $23m in July, the month of August saw a sizeable outflow.
Although the headline inflation at 3.6pc in August was lower than expectations, it failed to create any excitement in the market.
Analysts at JS Global commented that rally was witnessed in the automobile sector due to Japanese yen continuing its negative trajectory. Top performers were Honda Atlas Cars (HCAR; +5pc) and Atlas Honda (ATLH; +2.79pc).
Concerns over the possibility of a future oversupply situation in the cement sector hampered sentiment as eight out of 17 listed cement companies had already announced expansions. Major laggards of the sector were Lucky Cement (LUCK; -1.84pc) and Pioneer Cement (PIOC; -2.86pc).
The earnings announcement of major companies such as Luck Cement and Kohat Cement (KOHC; -0.93pc) failed to impress investors.