KARACHI - Stocks continued to fall as regulatory strictness on in-house financing sapped liquidity from the market, the benchmark PSX shares index on first trading day, Monday, declined by 487.25 points or (down 1.00%) to close at around 48,521 level. Market opened on a positive note where the index made an intraday high of 73 points. This positivity was short lived as heavy selling was witnessed across the board, which led the index to close in negative zone, brokers said.

Banking sector closed lower than its previous day close as heavy weights HBL (decline 0.16%), MCB (0.86%) and UBL (0.99%) lost value to close in the red zone. Selling pressure was witnessed in the cement sector as it lost value to close (down 1.4%) lower than its previous day close. POWER (slip 5%), DCL (5%), DGKC (2.15%) and LUCK (0.35%) were among the major losers in the cement sector. DCL, in the cement sector, lost value to close in the red zone as the company declared its 1HFY17 result. In its result, the company posted EPS of Rs0.98/share with no cash payout, said analyst at JS Global. Profit-taking to some extent was witnessed in the steel sector, as sector heavyweights ASL (dip 5%), ISL (4.89%) and INIL (4.90%) lost value to close in the red zone. SEARL (down 0.79%) in the pharmaceutical sector lost value to close in the red zone as the company declared its 1HFY17 result.

In its result, the company posted EPS of Rs10.62/share along with an interim dividend of Rs2/share, market participants said. Weak sentiments remained in the trading session on renewed concerns for foreign outflows, surging circular debt in the energy sector and dismal payouts in the earnings season. Surging trade deficit, reports of falling exports and consolidation post major earning announcements at PSX played a catalyst role in bearish close, said analyst Ahsan Mehanti. Overall, volumes decreased by 9pc to 250m shares, while value declined by 18.4pc to Rs11.6b/$110.6m. ASL was today's volume leader with more than 24m shares traded.