KARACHI - The local equity market witnessed lacklustre activity on Thursday as investors remained cautious ahead of the monetary policy announcement on Saturday by the State Bank of Pakistan. The Karachi Stock Exchanges benchmark 100-share index closed at 12,477 points with a loss of 6.34 points. The said index had ended at 12,483.34 on Wednesday. Total turnover declined to 112.37 million shares compared with 139.31 million shares traded previously. Investor booked profits ahead of monetary policy announcement. Mixed activity was witnessed despite foreign interest in blue chip oil and fertilizer sectors companies, said Ahsan Mehanti, Director Arif Habib Investments Limited. Fall in international oil prices, rise in SBP cut-off T-bill yields and concerns over circular debt issue in the countrys energy sector played a catalyst role in spreading negative sentiments, he added. Meanwhile, the daily stock report stated that KSE market capitalization stood at Rs3, 372.35 billion or $39.26 billion while total ready market value came at Rs4.21 billion or $48.96 million, respectively. According to the market report, the KSE 30-index ended lower at 12,174.47 level, showing a decrease of 42.52 points or 0.35 per cent over the last closing. KSE future volume was recorded at 3.96 million shares, valuing at Rs347.60 million with 5.99 per cent spread. Lotte Pakistan PTA, Azgard Nine, Fauji Fertilizer Company, Fauji Fertilizer Bin Qasim Limited and KASB Bank Limited posted heavy earnings through their shares trading at KSE. Pressure continued at the local bourse despite an initial positive run-up. Saturation levels in various main board stocks, along with rollover pressure and the trend of post result sell-off, kept the local bourse under pressure. The benchmark on back of gains in ill-liquid expensive stocks managed to disallow wider bearish impact. Stagnation, however, kept various instances of low volume price erosion quite prominent, said Hasnain Asghar Ali, an analyst at Aziz Fida Husein Co. He was of the view that delay in launch of leverage continued to indicate an extension in the adjustment mode, however, decline in main board stocks offering consistent dividend yields along with decent growth. This will certainly be an opportunity for the liquid participants, while selling is likely to continue in various stocks, either trading at inflated levels, or those facing wrath of rising interest rates along with those suffering from high and inefficient debt and decline in local and export sales. He further said although further increase in benchmark interest rate in the upcoming monetary policy to the tune of 50-100 bps seems eminent, economic reforms, efforts of the government to restrict inflation, and borrowings from SBP, might reduce some pressure for future reviews, however, review of petroleum prices and governments decision of adjustment PDL downward and refraining from further increasing the rates of petroleum product will further hit the fiscal numbers.