KARACHI: Bearish activity continued at the stock market on Thursday in the earnings season on investors’ fears for foreign outflows and political uncertainty. The benchmark KSE 100-share index declined 47.71 points (down 0.14%) to close at 33,572.13 points. Volatility prevailed at the PSX as the index juggled between an intra-day high of 297.42 points and low of 126.30 points, brokers said.

The market enjoyed an intraday rally in the earlier hours of trading which was attributed to the E&P sector that followed an overnight rally in global crude oil prices following data that showed a smaller-than-expected weekly increase in inventories in the United States, dealers said. Top performers of the aforementioned sector were PPL, which rose 4.32%, and POL that went up by 4.34%.

The market lost intra-day gains on political concerns with profit taking continuing in the cement sector where the biggest index mover of the sector was LUCK that decline 0.91%. PKGS, up 4.97%, rallied after its 1Q2016 EPS clocked in at Rs17.37/share, observed analyst Ahmed Saeed Khan.

Above average volume was seen due to this volatility as traded volume increased 24% to 327.1m shares. Traded value clocked in a 22-week high as it increased 48% to Rs15.3b/$146.4m. For six consecutive days foreigners were net sellers in the market. Yesterday, they sold on net basis $13.6m shares mainly in banking stocks. Trade was led by second and third tier scrips on speculations ahead of quarter-end earnings announcements amid support in selected oil stocks on strong valuations. Dismal earnings in the banking, textile sector and uncertainty in global equities played a catalyst role in bearish close, stated analyst at Arif Habib Corp.–Staff Reporter