Uncertainty drags index down by 630 pointsArchive
KARACHI: Stocks extended losses amid worries over the country’s fragile economic situation and uncertainty on the source of funding. The KSE-100 index took a plunge of 630.52 points (1.64 per cent) to close at 37,714.90.
The market also tracked the meltdown in Asian markets, where China’s CSI-300 index of mainland stocks was down 2.5pc, Hang Seng index in Hong Kong fell 3pc while Japan’s Nikkei-225 slipped 2.7pc.
Despite a positive opening of 18 points, the index was soon overwhelmed by selling pressure across the board. Optimism generated by the visit of Finance Minister Asad Umar last Saturday wore off as the reality of a looming economic crisis created panic among investors.
It was lent credence by the prime minister’s acknowledgement that the country needed dollars to avoid bankruptcy and the start of his whirlwind visit to friendly countries, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and China. Ambiguity still surrounded the terms and conditions of the inevitable International Monetary Fund package. All of that kept institutional traders on the sidelines.
The volume declined 5pc to 224 million shares, while the traded value decreased 11pc to Rs6.68 billion. Stocks that contributed significantly to the volume included Bank of Punjab, Pak Elektron, Lotte Chemical, Unity Foods and TRG Pakistan, accounting for 35pc of the total.