KARACHI: The KSE-100 Index on Thursday closed negative shedding 394 points to finally settle at 38,398 levels. After witnessing a sideways trading session in the early hour’s market consistently came down making a low of 535 points. Equity market overall came under the knife where Cements, Commercial Banks and Oil & Gas Exploration sector emerged as top laggards as they collectively lost 209 points. K-Electric Limited (KEL) gaining 5.14 percent led the volume charts after media reports that Government of Pakistan is likely to issue NOC to Shangai Electric Power (SEP) for the purchase of 66.40 percent stake of power company from M/s Abraaj ahead of PM Khan’s visit to China in mid November. Lucky Cement Limited losing 4.52 percent closed on renewed selling pressure with 450000 shares changing hands as estimates suggest that the company (along with United Bank Limited UBL PA -1.52%) may be excluded from MSCI EM Index in its next Semi Annual review on November 13th. According to the reports International Monetary Fund (IMF) is likely to visit Islamabad to initiate talks on bailout package after Pakistan’s official requested for financial assistance. Moreover, a delegation of the Asia Pacific Group (APG) has asked Pakistan to do more so that it may get out of the grey list of the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The major heavyweights namely Lucky Cement, DGKC, HBL, MCB, PPL and OGDC hovered and closed near to limit down. Traded volumes slightly decreased by 32 percent day-on-day (DoD) to 135 million shares while value traded fell to US$40 million. Top volume stocks were KEL (+5.14%) and TRG (-3.38%). An equity analyst Danish Ladhani expects investor’s sentiment to remain choppy. Therefore, the KSE100 performance shall remain under pressure along with selling pressure from foreign investors. Published in Daily Times, October 12th 2018.