LAHORE - The stock market saw a lackluster session Wednesday, closing down 133 points at 41,921 points.

Volumes stood at 127m shares, with LOTCHEM (-3.53 percent) as the volume leader with 8.3m shares changing hands. This negative sentiment came after the news that Prime Minister Imran Khan has given his consent for increase in gas prices by an average of 46 percent as determined by the Oil & Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA). This would have a negative impact on chemicals, glass & ceramics, steel, textile and cement sectors.

Activity was witnessed in the banking space where big banks such as ABL (+2.82 percent), UBL (+0.33 percent) and HBL (+0.18 percent) closed in the green belt whereas MCB (-0.80 percent), BAHL (-0.75 percent) and BAFL (-0.49 percent) closed in the red. Pressure was seen in the cement sector on back of increase in gas prices where major movers of the sector were LUCK (-0.79 percent), KOHC (-2.29 percent), CHCC (-2.28 percent), PIOC (-3.51 percent) and DGKC (-1.25 percent).

Investor interest was witnessed in the gas utilities as increase in gas prices would have a positive impact on the sector. SNGPL (+1.53 percent) and SSGC (+1.52 percent) closed in the green zone. Moving forward, investors have been recommended to trade cautiously and reduce short-term positions on strength.