KARACHI -  Stocks closed flat amid late session pressure on oil stocks after a fall in global crude prices and concerns over a major fall in global equities. The market opened on a positive note, maintaining its previous session trend. The index traded at an intraday high of 127 points before making an intraday low of 59 points. It finally closed at 49,017 levels after a decline of 3.42 points, dealers said.

Volume was recorded at 318 million shares, up 41 percent. KEL (slipped 5.19%), BOP (gained 6.15%) and ANL (7.80%) were volume leaders where KEL closed in the red on the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority announcing a seven-year tariff for KEL, slashing average tariffs by Rs3.50/unit (by 23%). Moreover, oil prices slipped back to three-month lows after data showed faster-than-expected rise in US crude inventories, piling pressure on OPEC to extend output cuts beyond June. PPL (slipped 0.45%) was the major laggard in E&Ps. PAEL (up 2.44%) closed positive as the National Transmission and Dispatch Company is upgrading transmission of power system in different parts of the country as per need and load of consumers. By end of 2018, it is expected to achieve the target of transmitting 30,000MW electricity, said analyst at JS Global.

Mixed sentiment was witnessed in pharmaceuticals where GLAXO (declined 1.72%) and ABBOTT (0.21%) closed in the red zone as the National Accountability Bureau has begun an inquiry into recent drug price hike, sale of unregistered stents at high prices and absence of medicine records.

Investor interest in second and third tier stocks in engineering, cement and auto sectors supported the index to close above session lows. Concerns over leverage issues and uncertainty over outcome of Panamagate trial played a catalyst in bearish activity, stated analyst Ahsan Mehanti.