Weak sentiments were witnessed at the Pakistan Stock Exchange on Wednesday amid global stocks rout and fall in crude prices. The benchmark 100-share index lost 74.87 points (0.23%) to close at 32,957.98 points.

After closing in the green for the last 10 trading sessions (and gaining ~8%), the market took a breather yesterday as investors closed out their positions, dealers said. Traded volume decreased 5.5% to 204m shares and traded value decreased 21% to Rs9.0b.

Profit taking was witnessed in selected index heavy-weight stocks. These included Engro Corporation, Habib Bank (HBL) and United Bank (UBL) which fell by 0.6-2.3%. Pakistan Oilfields (POL) and Oil & Gas Development Company (OGDC) fell by 0.9% and 0.4%, respectively, due to correction in international oil prices.

After 3 sessions of net buying, foreigners were net sellers of $1.3m shares, while net buying was seen by mutual funds worth $3.0m, brokers said. Dismal exports data, falling banking spreads, delay in auto policy and ECC approvals on higher bank transaction taxes played a catalyst role in the bearish close at PSX, observed analyst at Arif Habib Corp.

Out of total 327 active companies, 178 closed in advance, 132 in decline while 17 remained unchanged. Major activity was witnessed in the stocks of BOP with 14.4m shares, Sui South Gas with 12m shares and Dewan Cement with 11.8m shares.