KARACHI - Stocks closed bearish amid institutional profit-taking, the bench mark shares index lost 498 points in the first session post budget and closed at 52,138.90 level as investors weighed implications of single-slab CGT and higher tax on dividends, brokers said.

Laggers on the index were HBL (slip 2.2pc), LUCK (2.8pc), UBL (2.6pc), DAWH (2.7pc) & PAEL (3.9pc), with negative contribution of 273points, while OGDC (gain 0.8pc), SNGP (1.6pc), MARI (1.6pc), HUBC (0.5pc) and PSMC (1.4pc) supported the index by adding 62 points. On the sector front, Banks eroded 202 points; Cement 126 points and Fertiliser 47 points; while E&P’s added 24 points and Power added 15 points.

The advent of Ramazan has reduced regular trading hours by 01:15hrs, while investor participation generally wanes in the holy month of abstinence, stated analyst Adnan Sami Sheikh at Topline Securities.

Mixed sentiments were seen in the steel sector where MUGHAL (rose 5pc) and ASTL (5pc) closed on their upper circuits, whereas ASL (slip 1.51pc) and ISL (0.79pc) closed in the red zone. Support witnessed in selected oil stocks amid surge in global crude prices. Flat rates of capital gain tax, super tax on corporate sector, reduction of subsidies in fertiliser sector, additional tax levies on steel and cement sectors played a catalyst role in bearish close, said Ahsan Mehanti at Arif Habib Corp.

Market participation slumped with volumes falling 53 percent d/d to 203 million shares, while traded value fell 37 percent to Rs13 billion/$124 million. Power Cement was today's volume leader with 23 million traded shares. Scrips of total 375 active companies traded in the session of which 105 concluded in advance, 258 in decline while 12 remained unchanged. Brokers believe the activity in MSCI names will pickup given EM inclusion is just a couple of days away.