KARACHI - Bears returned to the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) on Thursday, pulling back 642 points from the benchmark 100-share index. The index closed at 42,269 points.

After an intra-day high of 262 points, selling pressure in the second half dragged the market down, brokers said.

DGKC closed at its lower limit as pressure on pricing continued to weigh on investors’ sentiments. Top 5 contributors in session were NML (up 3.2%), HUBC (up 0.6%), NESTLE (up 0.7%), JLICL (2.9%) & NRL (up 1.3%), contributing 42 points.

Amongst sectors, major selling was seen in cement (down 3.2%) as the sector contributed 145 points to index decline. Similarly, oil & gas marketing contributed 90.5 to index points as the sector was down 3%.

NBP (down 1.85%) from the commercial bank sector announced its financial results for 1H2017, in which the bank posted an EPS of Rs4.02, 9% down YoY. Other heavy scripts namely ABL (down 2.53%), HBL (down 1.32%), UBL (0.15%) and MCB (down 0.22%) from the same sector also lost to close in the red zone in line with the falling market, said analyst at JS Global.

Cement sector was a major laggard in session as most stocks including ACPL (down 4.94%), CHCC (4.92%), DGKC (5%), FCCL (3.84%), GWLC (down 4.70%) and PIOC (4.97%), closed at or near their respective lower circuits. INDU (down 2.44%) also announced its financial results for the period FY17, in which the company posted EPS of Rs165.41 and also announced final DPS of Rs35.

Market participants said that investors weighed the uncertainty over the outcome of United States President Donald Trump's recent statements on Pakistan's efforts to curb militancy and terrorism, which led to higher selling.

Volumes increased by 11% to 185m shares compared to 166m shares of previous session and values increased by 7% to Rs10b/$95m.

AzgardNine led the volume with 21m shares traded.

Scrips of total 392 active companies were traded in the session of which 99 closed in advance, 280 in decline while 13 remained unchanged.