KARACHI: The stock market snapped the four-session gaining streak and reverted to the negative territory. On Monday, the KSE-100 index lost 404.13 points (1.14 per cent) and closed at 35,168.82.

It wiped off minor gains of 68 points (0.19pc) that the index had accumulated the previous week as a result of market’s oversold position.

The market started out in the red and touched intraday low by 462 points. With mid-session buying by individuals to the tune of $2.69 million, the index managed to recover some of the lost ground.

However, foreigners continued to sell with the outflow amounting to $2.13m. Some concern may have been caused by the Fitch Ratings which has not improved Pakistan’s credit rating despite the conclusion of staff level negotiations with the International Monetary Fund. Local Institutional support was also not forthcoming with companies booking profit through sale of shares worth $3.85m.

Market watchers said the worries over the budget and its implications as well as the opposition closing ranks in the National Assembly in tirade against the budget pushed investors to the sidelines.

Moreover, there was no news over the market support fund. Investors also await the approval of $6bn by IMF at its meeting scheduled on July 3.

Sector-wise, cement attracted attention on news of increase in cement prices/bag on the back of recent hike in federal excise duty. Exploration and production remained under selling pressure, carried from previous trading day, contributing 77 points to the decline. Banking saw major erosion of 117 points as the stock prices of heavyweights Habib Bank, United Bank and MCB fell. Scrips that caused major downslide included Fauji Fertiliser, decreasing by 2.1pc, Oil and Gas Development Company 1.6pc, Pakistan Petroleum 1.3pc and Lucky Cement 2.0pc. On the flip side, Maple Leaf Cement, up 4.3pc, EFU General 2.3pc, Gul Textile Mills 2.8pc, Jubilee Life Insurance 2.9pc were the major gainers

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