KARACHI - Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) started new week with negative sentiments on Monday. The benchmark KSE 100-index opened positive but remained under pressure throughout the day to finally close at 40,317 points after shedding 527 points.

Equities after a promising start during the day remained in red throughout the day. The market steadily lost ground as selling pressure exacerbated on account of sizable position in future contracts of Rs9.4b requiring settlement by end of this week . Investors even did not pay heed to the $1.29 rise in WTI oil price to touch $56.6 a barrel, stated dealer at Topline Securities.

Investors were also concerned about government failure to achieve breakthrough in negotiations with sit-in protestors. Many fearing further continuation in deadlock between both the parties might turn the situation volatile.

ASTL closed positive (+0.02%) as the company announced entering into a joint venture agreement with a publicly listed Chinese company - Qingdao Huijintong Power Equipment Company Limited (HJT), to diversify into electrical transmission business, said analyst Danish Ladhani at JS Global.

Top index point performers were PAKT (up 5%), PMPK (5%), CPPL (3%), SNBL (1.9%) & THALL (0.5%), contributing 32 points to the index while PSO (down 3.2%), NESTLE (5%), ENGRO (1.5%), MARI (2.8%) & POL (1.4%) withheld 125 points from the shares index.

On the sector front; OMCs took away 82 points, while E&P further eroded 65 points and commercial banks withheld 63 points while on the flip side tobacco added 25 points.

Market participation remained restricted to 94m shares as compared to 116m in the last trading day owing to lack of triggers and political instability.