Bears once again dominated the stock market on Monday as selling pressure across the board continued to weigh on investor sentiment.

Brief intervals in the green came on the back of an agreement between the independent power producers (IPPs) and the government on electricity tariff. Resultantly, stocks of power firms, refineries and oil and gas marketing companies traded in the green.

On the flip side, selling pressure in cement, fertiliser and exploration and production sectors dragged them down. Overall, lack of positive triggers kept investors cautious throughout the trading session.

Earlier, trading began with minor ups and downs and the index managed to post gains during initial hours. The KSE-100 index once again surpassed the 47,000-point mark soon after the morning bell.

However, after a while, selling pressure surfaced, which pulled the index down by nearly 200 points.

On the results front, Aisha Steel Mills from the steel sector declared its results for the first half of FY21, where the company posted earnings per share of Rs1.42 as compared to loss per share of Rs1.06 in the corresponding period of previous year.

At close, the benchmark KSE-100 index recorded a decrease of 183.92 points, or 0.39%, to settle at 46,721.87 points.

Arif Habib Limited, in its report, stated that the market faced selling pressure at the beginning of the week, which was also observed on the last trading session of previous week, when the index crossed the 47,000-point mark.

“Profit-booking was noted across the board, especially in bank, exploration and production, cement and fertiliser sectors that kept any upside in the index in check,” it said.

The KSE-100 index swayed positively around 168 points earlier in the session, but closed in the red.

The report added, “Conclusion of IPPs’ agreement with the government on power tariff as well as resolution of circular debt issue helped power, refinery and oil and gas marketing sectors to contribute positively to the index.”

Similarly, tech sector stocks performed well with TRG Pakistan closing at its upper circuit.

Sectors contributing to the performance included fertiliser (-101 points), cement (-53 points), banks (-53 points), chemical (-27 points) and investment banks (-22 points).

Individually, stocks that contributed positively to the index included TRG Pakistan (+91 points), Pakistan Oilfields (+29 points), Mari Petroleum (+16 points), Systems Limited (+9 points) and Oil and Gas Development Company (+8 points).

Stocks that contributed negatively were Engro Corporation (-44 points), Fauji Fertiliser (-26 points), HBL (-22 points), Dawood Hercules (-20 points) and Engro Fertilisers (-19 points).

JS Global analyst Danish Ladhani said the KSE-100 index remained volatile throughout the day. It closed the session in the negative (-184 points or -0.4%) at 46,722.

Total traded volume came in at 190 million shares. Major contribution came from WorldCall Telecom (+7.9%), Telecard Limited (+26%), TRG Pakistan (+7.5%), Hascol Petroleum (-8.2%), Pakistan Refinery (+1.2%) and Pakistan International Bulk Terminal (-1.6%).

Telecard Limited and TRG Pakistan (+7.5%) in the tech sector closed at their upper circuits. In the banking sector, HBL (-0.9%), UBL (-0.4%) and MCB (-0.4%) closed in the red.

“We recommend investors to avail any downside as an opportunity to buy stocks,” the analyst said.

Overall, trading volumes fell to 428.6 million shares compared with Thursday’s tally of 440.3 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs22.2 billion.

Shares of 419 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 158 stocks closed higher, 242 declined and 19 remained unchanged.

WorldCall Telecom was the volume leader with 52.9 million shares, gaining Rs0.09 to close at Rs1.23. It was followed by Telecard Limited with 35.6 million shares, gaining Re1 to close at Rs4.89 and TRG Pakistan with 33.2 million shares, gaining Rs8.62 to close at Rs123.61.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs217 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.