KARACHI: Stocks were severely battered on the first trading day of the week with the KSE-100 index sinking by 352.41 points or 1.22 per cent to 28,519.34.

It was a one-way journey all the way for the index as it lost 375 points intra-day to 28,496.21 but managed to close slightly above the day’s low on higher volume.

Some investors were encouraged to see that the benchmark managed to close above the 28,500 level.

However, investor sentiments were depressed on the ongoing political situation which seems to deteriorate by the day. The market is worried over the evolving volatile situation.

The index heavy weights OGDC were down by Rs6.25 and MCB declined by Rs4.95, the two contributing around 150 points to the index decline. On the oil and gas sector, nine out of 13 stocks closed in the minus column, some in deep red.

Lucky Cement, which plunged by Rs12.47 was another major decliner of the day.

“Market fell due to ongoing political uncertainty coupled with sharp depreciation in the rupee,” commented Samar Iqbal, AVP Equity sales at Topline Securities. PAEL remained volume leader with 18.8 million shares, representing 22pc of total volume traded after its better than expected June quarter result announcement.

Foreign investors sold off $1.96m worth equity and mutual funds continued to raise cash through sale of stocks valued at $3.87m, to meet redemptions and build up a buffer for any big redemption order. Stocks strategists advised a cautious strategy with focus on high dividend yield stocks.

Ahsan Mehanti at Arif Habib Corp said that stocks fell across the board on institutional profit taking amid rising political noise and protests across the country.

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