KARACHI - Stocks closed lower amid pressure in banking stocks as investors await the SBP key policy rate decisions tomorrow. KSE-100 index remained lacklustre during the day as the index traded between an intraday high of 122points and low of 89 points to close at 48,971 level (down 46 points), owing to jitters from the political backdrop, brokers said. Investor interest remained in selected cement, auto and engineering sector. Concerns for weak global crude prices, falling exports and leverage issues at PSX played a catalyst role in bearish close, said analyst Ahsan Mehanti.

FFBL (gain 1.18%) increased in value post release of material information that FFBL Power Company (FPCL), a subsidiary of Fauji Fertiliser Bin Qasim is expected to commence its commercial operation by end of April 2017. Overall, mixed rally was witnessed in the banking sector where some of the big banks such as HBL (rose 0.63%), and NBP (0.16%) closed in the green zone whereas MCB (decline 1.44%) and UBL (0.35%) posted decline in value, stated analyst Arhum Ghous.

FFBL announced that its subsidiary FFBL power company is expected to commence its commercial operations from April 2017. On PM’s directive a committee was formed to review Nepra’s decision regarding KE’s tariff cut.

This resulted in KEL to gain 3.4 percent, said dealers at Topline brokerage.

Overall, volumes increased by 11.3 percent to 353 million shares, while value decreased by 14.3 percent to Rs11.3 billion/ $108.63 million.  KEL (gain 3.21%), BOP (5.67%) and ASL (4.97%) were the volume leaders.