KARACHI: The benchmark KSE-100 index on Wednesday reversed its trend and lost 133 points as investor sentiment remained weak despite upbeat data of worker remittances. According to the data released by the State Bank of Pakistan on Tuesday, workers’ remittances increased 9.35% to $1.81 billion in November 2019. On the other hand, the automobile sector closed mainly in the red following dismal numbers of car sales reported by the Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (Pama). Sales of vehicles dived 44% to 9,789 units in November 2019 on a year-on-year basis. In the morning, trading began on a bullish note at the stock exchange with the KSE-100 index inching closer to the 41,000-point mark. However, the momentum was lost by midday after investors started offloading stocks, dragging the market down. Weak investor sentiment pushed the market into the negative territory and it closed the day with a loss. At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded a decrease of 133.18 points, or 0.33%, to settle at 40,531.42. In its report, Arif Habib Limited stated that the market replicated Tuesday’s performance because the index remained range bound between +247 points and -214 points. “At the start of the session, the index opened on a positive note with a gain of 77 points and trading in 3.74 million shares,” it said. Volumes improved and crossed the 300-million mark again. Selling pressure was evident almost across the board but was mainly concentrated in oil and gas and banking sectors. The cement sector led the volumes with trading in 44.6 million shares followed by vanaspati manufacturers (44.5 million) and banks (31.8 million). Among individual stocks, Unity Foods topped the list with 44.5 million shares changing hands, followed by Power Cement (16.3 million) and Pak Elektron (15.6 million), the report added. Topline Securities stated in its report that the KSE-100 index lost 133 points or 0.33%. “The index failed to maintain Tuesday’s momentum,” it said. In the initial trading hours, the index crossed the 40,900 level when investors decided to book profits, leading to the decline to 40,531 points. Top losers of the index were Pakistan Petroleum (-32 points), Hubco (-28 points), Dawood Hercules (-21 points) and MCB Bank (-18 points). Investor participation in terms of volumes rose 20% day-on-day to 305 million shares. Similarly, the traded value was also up by 18% to Rs10.8 billion. Unity Foods continued to remain the volume leader as it recorded volumes of 44.5 million shares, followed by Power Cement and Pak Elektron, which cumulatively added 32 million shares to the total volumes, the report added. Overall, trading volumes increased to 305 million shares compared with Tuesday’s tally of 254.6 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs10.8 billion. Shares of 387 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 144 stocks closed higher, 223 declined and 20 remained unchanged. Unity Foods was the volume leader with 44.5 million shares, gaining Rs0.61 to close at Rs14.66. It was followed by Power Cement with 16.3 million shares, gaining Rs0.45 to close at Rs7.21 and Pak Elektron with 15.6 million shares, gaining Rs0.49 to close at Rs28.01. Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs128.9 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.