KARACHI: The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) Thursday closed fourth consecutive session negative on trimmed losses as recovery in the final ninety minutes helped cover early declines that had pulled benchmark KSE-100 Index to a new intraday low since October 2016. The KSE-100 index witnessed another volatile session as the benchmark index made an intraday high of +288 points and a low of -669 points, to close at 40,237, down 266 points. Volumes slightly improved to 138 million shares as compared to 129 million shares during the previous trading session. K-Electric limited (KEL) gaining 0.32 percent led the volume charts, with 13 million shares of the power utility exchanging hands. The volatility in the market was likely on the back of investor scepticism regarding the political scenario in the country, it was said. After a positive opening, market was pulled into the red with cements leading in losses on concerns of further price discounts by cement players in north. Maple Leaf Cement (MLCF) lost 4.9 percent despite company’s announcement of commencement of its 40MW coal-fired power plant, DG Khan Cement (DGKC) lost 2.6 percent and Lucky Cement lost 1.2 percent. Sentiments were dampened midday after Election Commission of Pakistan issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan. Meanwhile, Pakistan Oilfields (POL) gained 5 percent and continued to buck the wider market downtrend as investors came to terms with preliminary reserves estimates of its new discovery (Jhandial – Ikhlas Block), which were relatively greater in size compared to company’s existing reserves.Elixir Securities’ analyst predicted a directionless market with politics being the dampener as ex PM Nawaz and his family members were expected to be indicted by accountability court on corruption references. Selling pressure caused decline in the cement sector where heavyweights closed in the red. In the banking space, mixed sentiments were witnessed as Bank Alfalah Limited (BAFL) gained 0.12 percent and Habib Bank Limited (HBL) gained 0.20 percent to close in the green, whereas, National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) lost 3.16 percent and MCB Bank lost 1.52 percent. International Steel Mills Limited, Aisha Steel Mills Limited and International Industries Limited, from the steel sector, also closed in the red zone. “The political scenario is expected to continue to affect the stock market. We recommend investors to stay cautious and avoid short term positions”, JS Research’s analyst Maaz Mulla said. Published in Daily Times, October 13th 2017.