KARACHI -  Stocks closed flat on Monday amid late session profit taking in oil, textile and banking scrips. Market opened on a positive note as the index rallied to make an intraday high of 49,439 but came under selling during latter hours, however the index closed in green gaining 1.18 points, brokers said.

Textile sector continued to garner investors’ interest on the back of the news that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif may announce Rs75 billion package for six major export oriented sectors tomorrow, where textile sector is expected to be the main beneficiary of the export package.

Major incentives to textile sector expected are removal of duty on various raw materials and import of industrial machinery, and rebate on various textile segments. NCL (rose 2.22%) and GATM (2.74%) were top performers of the aforementioned sector.

 E&P sector lost value to close in the red zone as crude oil prices failed to sustain above $54/bbl level. This decline was on the increase in US drilling activity that is offsetting the planned output cut by OPEC members.

OGDC (down 1.19%) and PPL (0.67%) were the major index movers from the aforementioned sector. Top contribution to the index came from UBL (higher 0.61%) and MCB (1.02%) whereas HBL (slump 0.76%) and LUCK (0.54%) weighed down on the index, said analyst Nabeel Haroon.

Healthier margin in steels tempt investors to take positions which led ASTL and MUGHAL to gain by 4.8 percent and 5 percent respectively. Record local cement dispatches, urea off take and POL sales data in December 2016 played a catalyst role in higher close, stated analyst Ahsan Mehanti.

Overall, volumes increased by 14.4 percent to 492 million shares, while value remained flat at Rs20.8 billion/$200 million. DSL (slipped 0.77%) was today’s volume leader as more than 33 million shares of the scrip exchanged hands.