KARACHI - Stocks witnessed another bleak session as the benchmark shares index traded between an intraday high of 35 points and intraday low of 531 points, where it closed at 48,289 level by declining 16 points.

Late session interest in banking and oil stocks supported the index to close above session lows after WTI crude prices surge near to $50/barrel on output cuts and reports on rising banking spreads. Concerns for leverage issues and uncertainty over outcome of Panamagate case hearings played a catalyst role in bearish activity, stated analyst Ahsan Mehanti.

POL (rose 0.70%) and OGDC (0.66%) in the E&P sector retrieved from its preceding trend to close in the green as crude oil prices rose on to extend gains from the previous session after official government data showed US stockpiles had eased from record highs. Moreover, mix sentiment was witnessed in the cement sector where the major contributors, LUCK (slip 0.19%) and MLCF (0.11%) closed in the red. On the contrary, ACPL (up 1.56%) closed positive on the back of the news that the subsidiary of ACPL in Iraq has established a letter of Credit (LC) amounting to $9.75 million for a cement grinding unit in favour of a Chinese supplier Hefei Cement Research and Design Institute. The project is likely to come online by March 2018, observed analyst at JS Global.

Fertiliser sector lost value to close in the red zone as sector heavy weights FFBL (decline 2.44%) and FFC (1.05%) were the major losers of the aforementioned sector. Furthermore, confidence was recouped in the banking sector where buying was witnessed in HBL (higher 0.12%) due to attractive valuation owing to MSCI trigger, market participants said.

Overall, Volume decreased by 12.6 percent to 180 million shares, while value declined by 5.5 percent to Rs10.2 billion/$97 million.

Top volume leaders of the bourse were KEL, BOP and SNGPL with accumulated 51 million traded shares.