LAHORE  -  It was an unsatisfactory session for the benchmark index as it closed in the red for the second session in a row. Investors continue to be disheartened by the economic slowdown expected to grip the country in the coming year. Moreover, Sui Southern Gas Company’s (SSGC) announcement that it was stopping supply of gas to the compressed natural gas (CNG) sector and captive power plants further dampening investors’ sentiments. The index lost 545 points (or –1.4 percent), closing at 38,307 level.

Scrip-wise the volume leaders were KEL and PAEL which generated 33mn in traded shares, cumulatively. Out of the 349 traded stocks today, 263 declined, 68 advanced and 18 remained unchanged.

Investor participation improved today as traded volumes increased by 17 percent to 146mn, while traded value rose by 17 percent to US$50mn.

Experts said that equities closed on a negative note with benchmark KSE100 Index shedding 545 points to finally settle at 38,307 levels, down 1.4 percent. The index remained negative throughout the trading session. On the news front, the Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL) has started facing sharp scarcity of gas due to looped short supply of gas from different gas fields. Financials, Energy, Fertilizers and Cement sector were the major laggards in today's trading where key stocks, HBL (-2.9 percent), UBL (-2.8 percent), MCB (-1.6 percent), PPL (-0.2 percent), OGDC (-1.4 percent), POL (-1.0 percent), ENGRO (-1.8 percent), EFERT (-0.6 percent) and LUCK (-1.2 percent), cumulatively contributed -230 points towards the close.

Average daily traded value stood at $49 million, up 17 percent and volume stood at 146 million shares, up 17 percent from the previous trading session. Furthermore, major contribution to total market volume came from KEL (-2.5 percent), PAEL (+2.2 percent) and TRG (-4.2 percent).