Stocks on Thursday closed lower amid cautious activity ahead of SBP policy rate announcements and concerns for foreign selling. The KSE-100 Index declined by 40.82 points and settled at 33,908.44 points.

Another range bound session observed due to lack of triggers as the market declined marginally by 0.12pc, said dealers at Topline brokerage. An unusual activity was seen in SILK with a hefty turnover of 44m shares on the back of local investor buying, followed by BYCO and FCSC.

Fertilizer stocks remained under pressure on the back of possible increase in gas tariff which will negatively affect profits of fertilizer companies. Resultantly, Engro, EFERT, and FFBL closed down 0.09-0.71pc.

Firm oil prices and recovery in global equities supported the index. Uncertainty over SBP stance in the policy rate decisions, dismal earnings outlook in the oil, cement and fertilizer sectors played a catalyst role in bearish close, stated analyst Ahsan Mehanti.

Small cap stocks dominated the volume charts as shown by the divergence between the total volume and the value traded. Silk Bank emerged as volume leader with 44.8m shares, followed by Byco Petroleum 9m shares and Ist. Capital with 7.7m shares. Volumes augmented to 190m shares, up 1.52pc while traded value down 14.3pc to Rs6.1b.