KARACHI - Stocks witnessed bloodbath activity on Wednesday as the PSX shares index lost 511 points or (1.06%) to close at 47,577 level.

This pressure in the market was on the back of investor scepticism regarding the political scenario after Lahore attack on census team, brokers said. Banking sector led the decline as the sector lost to close (2.6pc) lower. HBL (slip 2.08pc), MCB (1.52pc) and NBP (5pc) in the aforementioned sector lost value to weigh down on the index. Despite pressure in the market, the E&P sector closed marginally lower only as crude oil prices surged by 1 percent to trade comfortably above $51.50/bbl level. This surge in crude oil prices was on the back of the reported decline in US oil inventory level. POL (decreased 0.51pc) closed marginally lower whereas PPL (rose 0.23pc) and OGDC (0.29pc) on the other hand closed in green zone. AICL (slip 3.86pc) failed to garner investor interest in the bearish market, in spite of posting a robust growth in its bottom line in result announcement for 2016. The insurance company declared EPS of Rs9.98 along with a year-end dividend of Rs2.50/share taking the total payout to Rs4/share, said analyst at JS Global. Bears stood tall, feeding off the compounding uncertainty pertaining to security & politics, MSCI flows, & MFS product implementation.

Brunt of the pressure was felt in Banks (lost 175points) & Fertiliser (71points), on the back of grape-vine alleged institutional selling, stated dealers at Topline brokerage. Participation improved somewhat, with volumes increasing 38 percent to 185 million shares, while value increased 10 percent to Rs8.8 billion/$85 million.

Scrips of 384 companies were traded on the exchange, of which 69 gained in value, 303 declined and 12 remained unchanged. Volumes were led by Aisha Steel Mill with 13.22 million shares traded, Byco Petroleum with 12.53 million shares traded, Azgard Nine with 12.41 million shares traded and Bank of Punjab with 11.52 million shares traded.