LAHORE - Absence of any positive triggers and prevailing economic uncertainty due to lack of any concrete roadmap to deal with the country's economic situation kept market sentiments negative.

The stock market remained range bound with intra-day low of 42,516 and intra-day high of 42,843. As investors remained skeptical to take fresh positions, benchmark index slipped 201pts to close at 42,544 level.

With respect to specific sectors, fertilisers, cements and tobacco cumulatively dragged down the index by 94pts while top laggards were PAKT (-4.9 percent), DAWH (-4.7 percent), FCCL (-2.3 percent), EFERT (-1 percent) and LUCK (-0.7 percent).

Trading activity remained dull in today's session as depicted by 16 percent decline in volumes to 183.7million shares, and 14 percent decline in value traded to $62.1.

JS Bank (JSBL) announced its 2Q2018 result posting consolidated EPS of Rs0.26 up 7.90x times YoY vs. EPS of Rs0.032 in the similar period last year. Better earnings are a result of 1) increased mark-up earned, up by 55 percent YoY, 2) improved non-markup interest income, up 19 percent YoY and 3) Rs3.7million unrealized gain on revaluation of investments held for trading compared to a loss of Rs515.5million in the similar period last year.

Dawood Hercules Corporation (DAWH) posted its 2Q2018 result with consolidated EPS of Rs0.30, up 37 percent YoY. Sales for the company increased by 28.5 percent YoY, while selling and distribution expenses declined by 13 percent YoY. Further, tax rate for the company declined by 27ppts YoY to 40 percent vs. tax rate of 67 percent in the similar period last year. All of which led to an increase in the bottom-line. DAWH also announced a dividend of Rs3 per share. Fatima Fertilizer Company (FATIMA) disclosed its 2Q2018 result posting consolidated EPS of Rs1.50 up 2.81x times YoY.

Gross margins improved by 30.6ppts to 56 percent vs. 25.3 percent in 2Q2017 as manufacturers gave hefty discounts last year to reduce stock levels.

While decline in sales was 12.6 percent YoY, better margins and decline in financial charges by 43.7 percent YoY contributed to the earnings growth for the company.