LAHORE - Pakistan equities remained under pressure amid economic concerns coupled with lack of any policy decisions in cabinet meeting, where investors were eyeing settlement of circular debt.

Further, lack of any trigger also kept investors sidelined from market. Resultantly, stock market was pushed down by 295 points to close at index level of 42,249.  To note, cabinet announced release of Rs10billion for cash starved state owned oil marketing company (PSO) as per news reports.

Cements, Fertilizers and Oil & Gas Exploration Companies remained in the limelight where cumulatively these sectors dragged down the index by 194pts. Specific scripts under pressure were FFC (-1.9percent), LUCK (-1.7percent), DAWH (-1.7percent), PPL (-1.3percent) and POL (-1.1percent).

Market participation in today's session was on the decrease as volumes were down 27percent to 134.8mn shares while traded value was lower by 25percent to US$46.4mn. IGI Holdings (IGIHL) posted its consolidated 2Q2018 result with EPS of Rs2.51 down 73percent YoY vs EPS of Rs9.4 in the similar period last year. Operating revenue for the company declined by 10percent YoY, other income was down 63.3percent YoY, while operating expenses increased by 16.3percent YoY all of which led to the decline in the profits for the company. Atlas Battery (ATBA) announced its 4QFY18 result posting EPS of Rs8.74 down 62percent YoY. Decline in earnings was a result of 1) lower sales down 5percent YoY, 2) decrease in gross margins by 5ppts YoY to 12percent vs. 17percent in 4QFY17, 3) lower other income by 47percent and 4) higher financial charges by 244percent YoY. ATBA also announced a cash dividend of Rs10 per share and recommended bonus shares at 40percent.