KARACHI -  The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) witnessed yet another day of lackluster activity on Monday, with the KSE 100-index shedding 33 points and closing at 41,031 points.

Market exhibited a volatile behavior and dull volumes in absence of any major triggers. However, oil & gas exploration sector garnered interest on back of oil prices hitting their highest since July 2015 as Saudi Arabia’s crown prince cemented his power over the weekend through an anti-corruption crackdown. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil rose by $25 cents to $56 a barrel, breaking above $56 for the first time since July 2015, observed dealer at Topline Securities.

Pressure remained in selected scrips across the board on investor concern for prevailing political noise, economic uncertainty and falling FX. Oil stock outperformed on rising global crude prices, stated analyst Ahsan Mehanti.

Some of the major gainers for the day were SSGC (up 3.00%), DAWH (2.92%) and OGDC (2.31%) that cumulatively contributed 78 points to the benchmark index gain. On the flip side, major laggards for the day were HBL (down 1.74%), PSO (1.46%) and UBL (0.72%), cumulatively taking away 72 points from the index.

Positive sentiments were witnessed in the textile sector as NML (up 1.08%) and NCL (up 0.72%) closed in the green zone on back of the news that government has released Rs14 billion for the implementation of phase-I of the Prime Minister's Export Incentives Package, said dealer at JS Global.

ATRL (down 2.53%), NRL (2.04%), PRL (1.26%) from the refinery sector along with PSO (1.46%) closed negative after the news came that the government has taken abrupt decision not to run the less efficient power plants based on furnace oil. The decision was taken due to prevailing smog in Punjab. E&P sector closed higher than its previous day close as crude oil prices edged higher in the global economy marking its two years high. PPL (up 1.40%) and OGDC (up 2.31%) were the major gainers of the mentioned sector.

Market volumes were substantially lower than previous trading sessions and were witnessed at 75.4m, showing a decline of 35% DoD, whereas average traded value increased slightly to USD 43m, showing a decline of 34% DoD.