KARACHI - Profit-taking halted the upward trajectory of Pakistan Stock Exchange on Thursday. The benchmark 100-share index shed 286.32 points (0.71%) to close at 39771.20 points. Stock market index rallied during the early hours of the trading session to make an intra-day high of 40,213 points, however sharp selling led to the index to close in red zone. HBL and UBL declined by 1.8% and 3% respectively, contributing 104 points to the fall, dealers said.

HBL (down 1.78%) failed to garner investor interest despite posting better than expected 1H2016 result. In its financial result, the bank posted EPS of Rs10.86/share along with a second interim dividend of Rs3.5/share, taking the total payout to date to Rs7/share. Selling pressure was also seen in ENGRO (down 1.82%) as the holding company posted its earnings for 1H2016, which was lower than market expectation. In its financial result, the company announced EPS of Rs10.54/share along with a second interim dividend of Rs7/share. This dividend was in addition to Rs5/share dividend already paid by the company in 1Q. OGDC (up 0.46%) and PPL (0.50%) in the E&P sector gained to close in the green zone, as crude oil prices surged to trade around $47/bbl level, observed analyst Nabeel Haroon at JS Global.

Volumes remained flat at 239m shares. However, value declined by 11% to Rs13.7b/$131m. TRG and KEL led the volumes with 50mn shares traded combined.

ENGRO announced EPS of 3.49/share along with cash dividend of 7/share. Result was below street consensus as stock price declined by 1.7%. HBL announced EPS of 4.7/share along with cash dividend of 3.5/share. Stock declined by 1.8%, brokers said.

Dealers said the market is expected to take further correction.