Stocks bounced back on Wednesday with the KSE-100 index settling down with net gains of 109.35 points (0.25 per cent) at 43,360.19.
The index started out on a positive note and made to intra-day high by 305 points on the back of share price spike in the exploration & production sector.
However, in the midst of low investor participation and choppy trade mainly in small capitalisation stocks, the index could not find a firm foothold.
Traders said that refinery, technology and cement sector that had led the latest rally had reached attractive levels for profit taking.
Foreign investors led sellers with an outflow of $2.10 million worth equity.
Other than that, investors seemed to set aside improvement in economic indicators presented by higher foreign exchange reserves, remittances, current account surplus and the higher cement despatches, uptick in urea offtake and improvement in large-scale manufacturing sectors.
The rising number of Covid-19 cases in the country, the yet unsettled political conditions represented by the rigid position of the opposition and the government’s attempt to hit back by indication to hold Senate elections in February 2021, a month earlier than schedule prevented investors from taking long term positions.
The cement sector came under pressure after the Competition Commission of Pakistan said it had found significant evidence of cartelisation in the cement industry which exerted selling pressure in the sector.
Among local participants, banks brokers and insurance companies were net buyers, individuals opted to take profit. Volumes declined from 702.2m shares to 433m shares (down 38pc day-on-day).
Traded value also declined by 27pc to reach $133.3m. Stocks that contributed significantly to the volumes include TRG Pakistan, Pakistan Refinery Ltd, Hascol Petroleum, Byco Petroleum and Azgard Nine Ltd, which formed 27pc of total volumes.
Sectors contributing to the performance include exploration & production 90 points, technology 49 points, fertiliser 47 points.
Among scrips, Oil and Gas Development Company 3.6pc, Systems Ltd 7.5pc, Engro Corporation 1.7pc, Pakistan Petroleum Ltd 1.9pc, Bank Al Habib Ltd 1.9pc and Meezan Bank Ltd 1.2pc were the top movers adding 200 points towards the positive index.
Stocks that contributed negatively included United Bank Ltd, Lucky Cement, D. G. Khan Cement, Maple Leaf Cement Factory and Millat Tractor Ltd.