KARACHI: Stocks witnessed profit-taking for the second consecutive day on Wednesday with the KSE-100 index pulling back by 151.59 points, or 0.44 per cent, to close at 34,386.86.

Local participants traded both ways while foreign investors went along with the market trend, offloading stocks worth $3.75 million. The foreigners were noted to have trimmed their portfolio by $1.9m in cement sector and $1.3m in chemical sector, while cherry-picking of shares valued at $2.1m in food sector and $1.1m in banking stocks.

“The decline in market is merely a correction from the peak price levels,” said Faisal Shaji, head equity sales at Standard Capital Securities, while brokerage Foundation Securities mentioned in its report that the KSE was still the best performing market in 2015, giving out return of 7pc in January, which was only second to India in the region.

Samar Iqbal, VP Equity Sales at Topline Securities, observed that stocks fell amid futures rollover and disappointed results from POL and ATRL.

Volumes decreased by 45pc to 235m shares and traded value also declined by 51pc to Rs15 billion.
“Stocks closed lower amid cautious activity on institutional profit-taking in overbought market,” said Ahsan Mehanti at Arif Habib Corp.

Speculations on strong earnings expected in fertiliser and cement stocks, however, supported the index to close above session lows despite pressure in selected stocks across the board in the future rollover and weak sentiments following Moody’s Investor Services warning that the ongoing fuel crises was credit negative.The analyst mentioned that dismal earnings in oil sector on inventory losses impacted by falling international oil prices near to $45 per barrel played a catalyst role in bearish activity at KSE.

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