KARACHI - Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) witnessed some range bound trading on Thursday and the 100-share index closed down by 235 points at 43395.28 points. The market appears to be consolidating around current levels with healthy participation. Meanwhile, WTI crude oil has broken $64/bbl (intra-day), taking it to levels not seen since Dec 2014. This will offer an upside trigger for E&Ps going forward.

Selling pressure was witnessed across the board as investors opted to book profits, while on the other hand things remained heated on the political front, said dealer at Topline Securities.

Top 5 index point decliners were BAHL (down 3.6%), HUBC (2.2%), ENGRO (1.6%), FFC (1.8%) & OGDC (0.9%), which held back 142 points from the index; while HBL (up 0.7%), SNGP (2.4%), TRG (5%), INIL (3.6%) & SSGC (5%) added 72 points to the index. On the sector front, fertilizer shed 79 points, E&Ps 57 points, banks 46 points, power 46 points, textile 23 points, pharma 15 points, whereas technology added 16 points, engineering 15 points, & sugar 8 points.

Volumes also remained healthy at 319m shares compared to 328m shares traded Wednesday. WTL (down 2.36%) led the volume chart for the day with more than 20m shares exchanging hands.  Heavy participation was witnessed in KEL (down 3.61%) with more than 18m shares exchanging hands on the back of news that NEPRA is unlikely to revise the company's multi-year tariff upward on the reconsideration request forwarded by the Ministry of Energy (Power Division), said dealer at JS Global.

E&P sector closed lower than its previous day close, where POL (down 1.26%), OGDC (0.93%) and PPL (0.62%) closed slightly below their previous day levels.

Mixed sentiments were witnessed in the cement sector where MLCF (up 1.43%) and FCCL (1.30%) closed in green whereas LUCK (down 0.78%) and DGKC (slip 0.30%) closed in the red zone.