The Pakistan Stock Exchange endured a volatile session on Monday as absence of positive triggers marred trading and the KSE-100 index kept oscillating between red and green zones. Resultantly, the index closed with a gain of just 72 points.

Market participants took cue from the robust remittances data, which depicted that the inflows stayed above $2 billion for the 15th successive month in August, and made fresh buying.

Investor sentiment revived on the back of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) victory in cantonment board elections and buying activity restrained the market from ending with a loss.

In addition, market players forecast the resumption of staff-level discussions with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on the release of next loan tranche in the current month.

Fertiliser, cement and chemical sectors attracted substantial profit-booking and capped gains.

In the morning, the trading session kicked off with a sharp spike, however, volatility wiped out the gains and the market entered the red zone in the initial minutes. Uncertainty prevailed till the final hour and the index kept trading in a narrow range.

Towards the end of the day, the KSE-100 index entered the negative territory once again but late session buying helped it close with slight gains.

At close, the benchmark KSE-100 index recorded an increase of 72.17 points, or 0.15%, to settle at 47,270.46.

A report of Arif Habib Limited stated that the market consolidated the gains made in the previous sessions with profit-booking in technology, cement, steel and refinery sectors, whereas the index got some support from banks and power sector.

The technology sector saw selling pressure which brought Avanceon and other tech stocks down, despite a historic initial public offering (IPO) of tech firm Octopus Digital in the previous week, the analyst said.

JS Global analyst Maaz Mulla said that the KSE-100 index posted a gain of 72 points to close at 47,270.

The banking sector witnessed better participation of investors while cement and technology sectors remained under selling pressure throughout the day.

On the economic front, negotiations with the IMF for the next loan tranche were to start by the end of current month.

“Going forward, we recommend investors to adopt a buy-on-dip strategy with bank, exploration and production and textile sectors being top picks,” the analyst said.

Overall trading volumes dropped to 395.8 million shares compared with Friday’s tally of 427.4 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs16.2 billion.

Shares of 519 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 209 stocks closed higher, 290 declined and 20 remained unchanged.

Byco Petroleum was the volume leader with 45 million shares, gaining Rs0.01 to close at Rs9.79. It was followed by Services Fabrics (R) with 42.2 million shares, gaining Rs0.52 to close at Rs3.30 and TPL Properties with 41.1 million shares, gaining Rs2.94 to close at Rs61.40.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs1.3 billion worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.