Tumbling international crude prices, especially that of Brent (traded below US$ 16/bbl briefly), caused the damage to investor sentiment on Wednesday. Pre-open session saw oil & gas (E&P and OMC) stocks with heavy volumes on offer. Market opened on a negative note and saw a loss of 529pts during the session. For the most part, the benchmark index traded in the red zone, with sporadic recoveries due to Banking sector stocks. Cement sector continued rallying on the back of expectation of an increase in cement price / bag in the coming days in the Northern region, which would improve the bottom lines of listed Cement companies, in addition to the impact of significantly lower coal prices (hovering around US$ 50/ton). Financial results of HBL, MCB, ABL brought back some activity, wherein HBL saw selling activity (despite announcement of Dividend), whereas MCB realized some price gains. Cement sector topped the charts with 95.9M shares, followed by Technology (22.1M) and O&GMCs (21.4M). Among scrips, MLCF saw volumes of 47.7M, followed by HASCOL (17.4M) and DGKC (13.8M). The Index closed at 32,464pts as against 32,423pts showing an increase of 41pts (+0.1% DoD). Sectors contributing to the performance include Cement (+74pts), Banks (+44pts), E&P (-54pts), Inv Banks (-33pts) and Power (-23pts). Volumes declined from 338.7mn shares to 239.8mn shares (-29% DoD). Average traded value also declined by 32% to reach US$ 64.2mn as against US$ 93.8mn the other day. Stocks that contributed significantly to the volumes include MLCF, HASCOL, DGKC, FCCL and HUMNL, which formed 41% of total volumes.