KARACHI - Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) continued its downward trend on second consecutive day as benchmark 100-shares index lost another 170 points and closed at 41,983 points.

Market continued its steep decline during the initial hours of yesterday’s trading session, making an intra-day low of 1,091 points. However, hefty buying in heavyweight stocks during the latter hours resulted in major recovery in the KSE-100, brokers said.

Top 5 index point contributors included ENGRO (up 1.9%), DAWH (3%), BAHL (2.8%), PPL (1.2%) & EFERT (2.8%) which added 113 points. On the contrary, LUCK (down 3.4%), DGKC (4.8%), FFC (3.2%), SEARL (4.2%) & HUBC (1.3%) led to decline of 165 points.

Cement sector continued to remain under pressure as it contributed 128 points to index decline following concerns of cement pricing pressure. Pharmaceutical also contributed 34 points to index whereas commercial banks added 42 points. Investors remained concerned over mounting current account deficit and depleting foreign exchange reserves, said analyst at Topline brokerage.

Recovery came from upside in the heavy weight commercial banking scripts including HBL (up 0.5%), ABL ( 4.9%), UBL (0.9%) and NBP (up 0.7%). Amongst steel companies, ASTL (up 3.9%), INIL (0.1%), and ISL (up 0.9%) closed in the green zone as investors picked these stocks at attractive prices.

KAPCO (up 2.5%) gained with FY17 financial results announcement where the company reported an EPS of Rs10.73 and also announced a final cash dividend of Rs4.75, said analyst at JS Global.

Volumes improved by 42%, standing at 217 million shares for the day as compared to 153 million of the previous day. Traded value also increased to Rs12b/$115m. ANL continued to lead the volume with 15 million shares of the textile composite stock changing hands through the day.  

Market participants believed the negativity in the market will continue on the back of political uncertainties and concerning economic indicators. Also, redemptions from Mutual Funds are likely to cause further selling pressure.