KARACHI - Stock closed lower amid thin activity ahead of SBP Policy announcement.

At local equity market benchmark KSE-100 share index shed 15.40 points or 0.07 percent to end the day at 23287.06 points compared to 23302.46 points of the previous day.

Equity dealer Samar Iqbal said market remained confused throughout the day on conflicting news about quantum of increase in policy rate. Active interest was seen in banking stocks as investors believe that higher interest rate will have positive impact on bank profits. Engro Corporation with huge volume of 9m shares closed at upper cap in anticipation that ECC will approve its long-term gas plan. BoP led the volume with 12m shares followed by Engro Corp with 9m shares and FCCL with 6m shares.

KSE-Allshare index off by 25.50 points or 0.15 percent to end the day at 16929.63 points, KSE-30 share index misplaced 89.96 points or 0.51 percent to finish the day at 17647.76 points while KMI-30 share index decreased by 344.96 points or 0.88 percent to end the day at 38742.49 points.

Analyst said institutional support witnessed in banking stocks amid expectation for hike in policy rate due to impact banking spreads. Consolidation continued in leveraged stocks amid concerns for economic uncertainty and cautious activity ahead for Muharram holidays.

During the session, 331 companies participated in the session where 148 closed in positive and the same number was noted in negative while the value of 35 stocks remained intact. Unilever FoodSPOT was the biggest price gainer of the day up by Rs 300 to Rs 6300 followed by Nestle Pak.XD grew by Rs 60.25 to Rs 7360. Rafhan MaizeXD and Wyeth Pak Limited were the top losers of the day decreased by Rs 97.92 to Rs 5500 and Rs 95.37 to Rs 4171.88.

Bourse traded 114.057 million shares compared to 163.626 million shares of the previous day and the value of traded shares was reduced to Rs 5.650 billion from Rs 6.337 billion. Capitalisation of the market maintained at Rs 5.515 trillion after opening at Rs 5.531 trillion.

Active list was topped by Bank of Punjab with 12.217 million shares as it closed at Rs 11.58 after opening at Rs 11.47. Engro Corporation was on second position with 9.338 million shares added Rs 2.14 to Rs 138.50. It was followed by Fauji CementXD with 6.229 million shares shed by Re 0.09 to Rs 12.10, Bank Al-Falah with 5.470 million shares up by Re 0.10 to Rs 24.98 and Hub Power Co with 5.081 million shares extended by Re 0.08 to Rs 60.60.