KARACHI - Trading remained downwards choppy at PSX as the index juggled between higher 90 and lower 218 points amid thinning market participation on the back of heightened monitoring by the apex regulator. Consequently, the benchmark shares index remained little changed, gaining 18 points or (0.04%) to close at 49,452.71 level, brokers said.

Trade remained thin on concerns for slump in cement export sales and liquidity crunch of non-compliant brokerage firms. Concerns for dismal exports and falling global crude prices invited mid-session pressure. Rising banking spreads and pre-federal budget speculations played a catalyst role in bullish close, said analyst Ahsan Mehanti.

Interest was seen in SNGPL and SSGC late in the session, with the stocks gaining 3.7 percent and 0.9 percent respectively. Out of 392 actively traded stocks, 135 closed in the green, 239 declined while 18 remained unchanged. Further, 16 scrips closed at their respective upper circuits, while 20 declined to their lower limits. Volumes thinned out 21 percent d/d to 237 million shares; in contrast, traded value rose by 18.7 percent to Rs11.4 billion/$109.1 million. K-Electric emerged as volume leader in the session with 24 million traded shares.