After posting gains for two successive days, the benchmark KSE-100 index once again retreated to the negative zone on Wednesday, shedding nearly 100 points on back of technical selling towards the end of the session.

The KSE-100 index oscillated between a high of 438 points and low of 141 points, ending a volatile session on a bearish note. Selling pressure was seen in banks, cement and exploration and production sectors.

In the morning, trading kicked off with a spike and the KSE-100 maintained the uptrend till mid-day. However, the positive momentum could not be sustained and bears dragged the index back in red.

HBL, in the banking sector, announced unimpressive financial results for the year ended December 31, 2020 towards the end of the session, which erased most of the gains.

Furthermore, there was uncertainty among investors ahead of revival of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme and announcement of financial results in some major sectors.

At close, the benchmark KSE-100 index recorded a decrease of 99.81 points, or 0.21%, to settle at 46,768.14 points.

Arif Habib Limited, in its report, stated that the market oscillated between +438 points and -141 points during the session that ended on a negative note.

“HBL’s announcement of financial results became a major dampener for investors who bought shares in anticipation of hefty dividend,” it said. “However, after the announcement of results, HBL came down to its near term support of 130.”

Pakistan State Oil and Engro Corporation were also due to announce results on Wednesday, but were deferred till Thursday due to time constraints.

The report added that profit-booking was observed in the cement, steel and power sectors that eroded gains made earlier in the session.

Sectors contributing to the performance included banks (-145 points), exploration and production (-28 points), tobacco (-21 points), power (-20 points), autos (+28 points) and cement (+26 points).

Individually, stocks that contributed positively to the index included Lucky Cement (+56 points), Millat Tractors (+29 points), Pakistan State Oil (+24 points), TRG Pakistan (+19 points) and Fauji Fertiliser (+17 points).

Stocks that contributed negatively were HBL (-130 points), Oil and Gas Development Company (-23 points), Pakistan Tobacco Company (-19 points), DG Khan Cement (-18 points) and Hubco (-16 points).

JS Global analyst Danish Ladhani said that PSX witnessed volatility on Wednesday as profit-taking was mainly observed.

“This was despite positive news that the IMF team had reached a staff-level agreement,” he said.

From the banking sector, HBL (-5.6%) declared its CY20 result, where the bank declared an earnings per share of Rs21.06 and a cash payout of Rs3 per share, which was below expectations.

Moreover, ABL (1.4%) declared its CY20 result, where the bank posted earnings per share of Rs16.05 and cash payout of Rs6 per share. Selling pressure was generally witnessed in cement and banking sector.

“Going forward, we recommend investors to avail themselves of any downside as an opportunity to buy stocks,” the analyst said.

Overall trading volumes soared to 701.8 million shares compared with Tuesday’s tally of 514.2 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs28.5 billion.

Shares of 419 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 204 stocks closed higher, 199 declined and 16 remained unchanged.

Hum Network was the volume leader with 78.2 million shares, losing Rs0.11 to close at Rs7. It was followed by Telecard Limited with 76.1 million shares, gaining Rs0.13 to close at Rs7.76 and Dost Steels with 53.7 million shares, gaining Re1 to close at Rs6.60.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs113.8 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.