KARACHI - Bearish trend continued at the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) on Monday as market witnessed thin volumes during the trading session. The benchmark KSE 100-index went down by 196 points and closed at 41,240 points.

Lack of any trigger and political instability remain a key concern for investors. Concerns over delay in the conduct of general elections and outcome of accountability cases against the ruling government kept investors sidelined despite cheap valuations, observed dealer at Topline Securities.

Stocks including PPL (down 1.4%), DAWH (3.1%), HUBC (1.3%), UBL (1.1%) & MARI (1.6%) withheld 105 points from the index whereas MCB (up 1.2%), TRG (5%), OGDC (0.7%), SHFA (5%) & FATIMA (1.7%) added 52 points to the index.

Sector-wise; oil & gas exploration and fertilizer sectors contributed 40 and 34 points to index decline respectively, whereas technology & communication sectors added 10 points to the index.

Negativity in the market can be attributed to cautious stance adopted by investors ahead of the semi-annual review of MSCI-EM index. Mixed sentiments were witnessed in the banking, said dealer at JS Global.

Selling pressure was seen in the cement sector where MLCF (down 2.90%), CHCC (2.39%), FCCL (1.21%) and DGKC (0.84%) lost value to close in red.

Traded volume was down 32% to 87m shares whereas traded value declined to Rs3.7b/ $35.5m (down 35%).

Stocks which dominated the market in terms of volumes include TRG, ANL, DSL, DFML and EPCL which cumulatively contributed 39% to total volumes .

Scrips of total 357 active companies traded in the session of which 117 closed in advance, 214 in decline while 26 remained unchanged.