KARACHI - Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) commenced week with lackluster session on political noise as the benchmark shares index, after hitting an intra-day high of 293 points and a low of 362 points, finally closed at 44,523.21 points after gaining 186 points.  Trade activity fell to the lowest since 22nd Aug’14, when calls for the incumbent PM’s resignation were first sounded by the opposition amid alleged election rigging. On that day, 30 out of 34 of the PTI’s lawmakers resigned in protest, observed analyst Adnan Sami Sheikh.

First hearing of the JIT report by the SC was held Monday; which clearly spooked investors as traded volume shrunk 33% to 3-year low of 75.3m shares, while traded value contracted 30% to Rs4.2b/$39.8m. Top Index point contributors were BAHL (+4.3%), HUBC (+1.8%), LUCK (+1.5%), UBL (+1.3%) & OGDC (+1.4%); adding 145 points, while HBL (-0.7%), PPL (-1.1%), JLICL (-4%), PMPK (-4.3%) & ENGRO (-0.3%) held back 62 points.

On the sector front, pharma added 36 points, power & banks 34 points each, cements 28 points, E&Ps 27 points; while textile shed 8 points. Investors’ speculation over outcome of PM family response to SC on JIT probe, surging global crude prices and foreign inflows played a catalyst role in higher close in the corporate results announcement season at PSX, observed analyst Ahsan Mehanti. Scrips of total 355 active companies traded in the session, of which 177 closed in green, 161 in red while 17 remained unchanged.

KEL led the volume in the market with 5.7 million shares of the power company being traded throughout the session.