KARACHI - The deepening political crisis took its toll on the stock market on Monday. The benchmark 100-share index plunged by 439 points (1.06%) and closed at 40,852 points, brokers said.

On sector basis, the highest decline was seen in the banking sector, which contributed 89 points to the decline in the index. Upbeat result by Pakistan State Oil (PSO) failed to excite investors as the stock witnessed 0.6% decline to close at Rs413/share, whereas, below expectations result of Pak Electron led the stock to close at its lower limit.

High Tech Lubricants (HTL) rose to its upper limit during yesterday’s trading session, to close at 2.8% following news that it has been granted an Oil Marketing Company (OMC) license, said dealers at Topline brokerage. Bank of Punjab (BOP) emerged as volume leader with turnover of 35.2m shares. However, the stock fell 5.3%. Overall, volumes fell by 48% to 278m shares, while value declined by 42% to Rs9.5b/$90.7m. 

Heavy-weight oil & gas sector remained under pressure (PPL slipped 1.58%, OGDC 0.82%) on the back of depressed crude oil prices as Iraq backed off from joining efforts to trim output to prop up crude oil prices. Cement sector showed some signs of recovery as news broke of cement manufacturers in South increasing prices by Rs5/bag, observed analyst at JS Global. Brokers expect market to remain largely range bound in view of increased political noise.