KARACHI: Stocks fell for the fourth straight day on Thursday with the KSE-100 index down by 82.50 points. The index settled at 33,762.80 points after a rollercoaster ride which carried it to intra-day high by 152 points, while pulling it down by 146 points during the day.

“The trend clearly indicated that the market was struggling to find a clear direction in the absence of triggers,” said a major broker.

Volumes increased by 21 per cent to 170 million shares and trading value also rose by 21pc to Rs8.6 billion.

Some analysts mused that increasing volume in a falling market was a sign of further weakness ahead and advised investors to stick to fundamentally strong stocks. However, individual investors were major buyers of $1.41m worth stocks on Thursday with institutions opting to stay on the sidelines.

Foreign investors meanwhile continued to book profit, offloading stocks worth $2.59m on Thursday; major outflow being $3.1m from cement sector.

“Mixed financial results coupled with expansion plans forced investors to book profit in cement stocks. Approval of amended GIDC also played its part in keeping local bourse dull,” said Fahad Hussain, analyst at Adam Securities.Senior analyst Arhum Ghous commented that mixed sentiments prevailed in oil and gas sector on the back of slight recovery in global crude oil prices. In the cement sector, market remained bearish due to the persistent rumours of a possible break-up of the cartel.

Samar Iqbal on the equity sales desk of Topline Securities added that the cement stocks witnessed some profit-taking on investors’ expectation of lower dispatches for February.

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