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Volatility persisted at the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) on Tuesday, with the benchmark KSE-100 Index settling only marginally negative as investors keenly awaited a sense of direction.

The benchmark index oscillated between its intra-day high of 46,055.12 and 45,525.01, clearly unable to sustain the level over 46,000.

At close on Tuesday, the index finished with a loss of 6.5 points or 0.01% to end at 45,881.13.

“Market remained volatile due to a rapid surge in Covid-19 cases as within the past 10 days positivity rate has jumped from 1.08% to 3.66%," said brokerage house Arif Habib Limited in a post-market comment.

“Profit-taking was witnessed across the board. However, rally in the banking sector was observed due to the expectation of foreign inflows."

KSE-100 gains 1.2%, closes near 46,000

On the economic front, oil production witnessed a drop of 0.6% week-on-week (WoW), clocking in at 73,585 bpd. Similarly, gas production displayed a dip of 0.1% WoW, settling at 3,462 mmcfd.

Sectors that hurt the benchmark index's positivity included cement (30.89 points), oil and gas exploration (27.84 points) and technology and communication (19.91 points).

Volumes decreased, clocking in at 339.1 million on the all-share index, down from 356.97 million on Monday. The value of shares traded also declined to Rs9.75 billion, down from Rs11.87 billion.

WorldCall Telecom was the volume leader with 44.68 million shares, followed by Hascol Petroleum with 33.12 million shares, and Unity Foods Limited (R3) with 22.5 million shares.

Shares of 363 companies were traded on Tuesday, of which 183 registered an increase, 159 recorded a fall, and 21 remained unchanged.

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