KARACHI: After the three-day onslaught, bears appeared to have tired out on Wednesday where the KSE-100 index decline slowed down to 36.44 points (0.07 per cent) to settle at 48,642.21 points.

Trading volume dropped to 331 million shares from 380m shares traded on Wednesday, while trading value fell to Rs21.9bn, from Rs224bn. The concerns over the outcome of the Panama Papers hearings sat heavily on investors’ minds, which dampened sentiments due to the increasing and prolonged uncertainty.

Dealers at Topline Securities said that the KSE-100 index declined owing to pressure seen in index heavyweight stocks like OGDCL, Hub Power and United Bank, which were down 1-5pc. PAEL closed at its upper limit on expectation of better upcoming corporate results. Renewed interest was seen in packaging companies. Resultantly, Packages, Century Paper and Merit Packaging gained 1.5-5pc.

Analyst Nabeel Haroon at JS Global observed that the market opened on a positive note and rallied to make intraday gains of 292 points but came under selling pressure as trading progressed. Profit-taking was witnessed in FFBL which fell 2pc as investors booked their profits after the stock price of the company rose by over 5pc over the last two trading sessions.

“OGDC down 4.85pc came in the limelight after the government decided to offload about $200m stake in an effort to revive the privatisation programme,” said analysts at Intermarket Securities. The programme was derailed last year as sharp retreat in crude oil prices weighed down on the overall sentiment in oil and gas sector.

Autos seized the spotlight with HCAR, MTL and GHNI hitting their respective upper circuits despite a stronger yen.

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