KARACHI: After a sustained rally for several days, the stocks witnessed profit-taking on Wednesday pulling the KSE-100 index back by 154.26 points, or 0.44 per cent, at 34,672.25.

The trading session started with bulls firmly in control, tossing the index to an intra-day high above the 35,000 level. The nervousness over fresh peak, disappointing financial result of OGDCL and some recovery in international oil prices, together dragged the index down, which was in and out of the red for several times, reflecting intense volatility of 459 points during the day.

Analysts said that the decline of 1.7pc in OGDCL stock prices put pressure on the entire sector, sending most oil and gas shares in tailspin. Mari, POL and APL shed 2.08pc; 0.45pc and 0.81pc.

The second heaviest weighted stock in the index, MCB Bank also fell, though some other shares on the banking sector, such as MEBL, NBP and BAHL gained 1.12pc, 0.89pc and 0.75pc, respectively.

Major local buyers were companies adding $6.37m to their portfolio and individuals lapping up shares worth $4.83m. Foreign investors, however, continued the selling spree, representing portfolio outflow of $7.62m.Volume rose 11pc to 382 million shares and trading value was up 6pc to Rs21.6 billion with second and third-tier stocks taking the place among volume leaders.

Analyst Ahsan Mehanti at Arif Habib Corp said that the stocks closed lower amid higher trades in a volatile session on institutional profit-taking in overbought market.

“Speculations on strong earnings expected in fertiliser and cement stocks supported the index to close above session lows,” he said.

Brokerage Adam Securities noted that in the chemicals sector EFERT, FFC and DYNO rose by 2.18pc, 1.57pc and 1.69pc, respectively.

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