KARACHI - Stocks closed flat Friday in the quarter-end earning season amid pressure in overbought oil, cement and fertilizer scrips.

Pakistan Stock Exchange opened on a positive note to make an intra-day high of 149.87 points but came under selling pressure during the late hours of trading to close on a flattish note (-0.47 points).

Profit taking was witnessed in the cement sector as LUCK went down by 0.58%, DGKC 0.60% and FCCL declined by 0.02.

Selling pressure was also seen in the E&P sector as slight correction was seen in crude oil prices ahead of the OPEC meeting on April 17th. BYCO, up 2.38%, gained on the back of material information disseminated by the company that the board of directors has approved a potential merger by way of amalgamation of Byco Oil Pakistan Limited and Byco Terminals Pakistan Limited with and into the company, observed analyst Arhum Ghous

Volume increased by 3% to 194m shares while value decreased by 7% to Rs 8.4b/80$m.

Continued interest was seen in refineries based on improved margins for investors to build positions in NRL and PRL, which closed up by 2% and 4% respectively, dealers said.

Trade was led by second and third tier scrips amid speculations on major earnings announcements due next week, stated analyst Ahsan Mehanti.

Foreign outflows, bearish global equities and falling crude prices played a catalyst role in the bearish close at PSX, brokers said.