LAHOR - Pakistan stocks opened positive and reached intraday high of 42,976 points. However, stocks met resistance as both UBL and HBL declared 2Q2018 earnings lower than street estimates.

HBL closed at its lower limit while UBL was down 4.5 percent. Earnings were lower as both banks booked surprised pension costs in their accounts.

Resultantly, the market closed down 480 pts to 42,330 index level.

EPCL surprised investors by posting EPS of Rs2 that led to highest volumetric activity in today's session. The result was also accompanied with cash dividend of Rs0.8/share.

This surprising result was due to lower effective tax rate of 2.5 percent on the back of availability of rebates on recent BMR activities, we believe.

Banking sector peeled away 261 pts while cement and oil & gas sectors cumulatively led to 147 pts index decline.

Compared to yesterday's trading session, trade volumes closed at 284mn shares up by 2 percent while value traded increased by 8 percent. On Thursday, AGP Limited announced its 2Q2018 result, where the company's EPS increased by 5 percent YoY to Rs1.02/share compared to Rs0.97/share in similar period last year. Engro Polymer & Chemicals (EPCL) also announced its 2Q2018 consolidated EPS of Rs2.01 vs. EPS of Rs0.30 in similar period last year. This was amid improved margins, up 8ppts YoY to 24 percent and higher sales, up 35 percent YoY.