The three-day winning streak ended on Thursday at the Pakistan Stock Exchange as the benchmark KSE-100 index dropped close to 300 points driven by profit-booking across major sectors.

A continued rally over the past few sessions encouraged investors to offload their stockholdings. Index-heavy oil, automobile and fertiliser sectors succumbed to selling pressure and closed with substantial losses.

Despite pessimism at the bourse, cement and financial sectors outperformed others and attracted a modest buying activity.

Earlier, the trading session began with a decline, but investor enthusiasm in early hours kept the index in the green for a brief period. The uptrend ended due to weak investors’ sentiment and the market declined at a steady pace throughout the day. Steep falls towards the end of the session deepened the loss.

At close, the benchmark KSE-100 index recorded a decrease of 292.08 points, or 0.63%, to settle at 46,166.05 points.

Arif Habib Limited, in its report, said that after posting a high of 46,645 points during the session (+187 points), the market saw profit-booking again, which brought the index down by 347 points. It closed the session lower by 292 points.

Cement and banking sectors experienced buying activity and a healthy price performance, whereas selling pressure was evident in exploration and production, oil and gas marketing, technology and fertiliser sectors, which eroded the gains recorded earlier in the session.

In the power sector, Hubco performed well in anticipation of resolution of the circular debt issue.

The banking sector saw renewed interest, especially in the wake of Fauji Foundation’s intention to acquire Silkbank in a notification sent to the exchange, which resulted in Silkbank posting the highest trading volume, the report said.

Overall, trading volumes rose to 844 million shares compared with Wednesday’s tally of 610.9 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs26 billion.

Shares of 405 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 152 stocks closed higher, 236 declined and 17 remained unchanged.

Silkbank was the volume leader with 355 million shares, gaining Rs0.23 to close at Rs1.54. It was followed by K-Electric with 31.2 million shares, losing Rs0.01 to close at Rs4.09 and TRG Pakistan with 27.8 million shares, losing Rs5.78 to close at Rs120.19.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs47.5 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.

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