Selling pressure continued to dominate trading at the Pakistan Stock Exchange on Tuesday as the KSE-100 index extended losses from the previous session and recorded a decline of 161 points.

Investors took a cautious stance ahead of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) decision on whether to remove Pakistan from the grey list and they resorted to profit-taking.

Dismal current account data, which showed a deficit of $229 million in January 2021, aided the downtrend with the market trading in a narrow range.

Earlier, trading began with a spike as market participants poured investment into exploration and production stocks, encouraged by a spike in international crude oil prices. Resultantly, the index remained on an uptrend until midday.

Investors’ sentiment weakened later in the day as they offloaded their stockholdings, which dragged the market down.

At close, the benchmark KSE-100 index recorded a decrease of 161.29 points, or 0.35%, to settle at 45,728.75 points.

Arif Habib Limited, in its report, stated that the market traded in a narrow range between -227 points and +194 points, closing the session down by 161 points.

The exploration and production sector remained positive throughout the session on the back of increase in international crude oil prices. However, the upside in exploration and production stocks remained restricted.

Banks, cement, oil and gas marketing companies continued their downtrend post-announcement of half yearly/ annual results.

Technology stocks saw a reversal after hitting the session’s high and closed in the red.

Hascol Petroleum announced an increase in its authorised share capital that insinuated a rise in capital. The stock faced profit-booking and eventually closed below previous day’s closing price, it said.

JS Global analyst Danish Ladhani said profit-booking was witnessed at the Pakistan bourse as the KSE-100 index slid from intra-day high of +194 points to a low of -227 points before closing the session at 45,729, down 161 points.

WorldCall Telecom (+5.8%), Byco (-5%), Media Times (+8.2%), TRG Pakistan (-5.7%) and Dewan Cement (+0.7%) were the volume leaders, contributing a cumulative 271 million shares to the aggregate volume.

Adamjee Insurance (-1.1%) from the insurance sector unveiled its CY20 results where the company reported consolidated earnings of Rs5.93 per share and announced cash payout of Rs1.25 per share.

Moreover, Byco (-5%) from the refinery sector reported 1HFY21 consolidated earnings of Rs0.12 per share.

Long steel producers Agha Steel (+4.8%) and Mughal Iron and Steel Industries (+1.2%) closed in the green on news reports that steel rebar prices could cross Rs150,000 per ton owing to a rise in international scrap prices.

“With FATF meeting underway, we expect the market to remain volatile and recommend investors to avail any downside as an opportunity to build positions in textile, steel and refinery sectors,” he said.

Overall trading volumes contracted to 718.2 million shares compared with Monday’s tally of 722.1 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs25.3 billion.

Shares of 359 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 135 stocks closed higher, 205 declined and 19 remained unchanged.

WorldCall Telecom was the volume leader with 84.3 million shares, gaining Rs0.09 to close at Rs1.64. It was followed by Byco Petroleum with 70.4 million shares, losing Rs0.55 to close at Rs10.42 and Media Times with 55.4 million shares, gaining Rs0.31 to close at Rs4.07.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs88 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.