KSE-100 Index slides 1,328 points to lowest since June 2016

The Pakistan Stock Exchange's benchmark KSE-100 Index plummeted 1,328 points (3.39 per cent) as investors abandoned their positions fearing macroeconomic headwinds and exchange rate weaknesses.

The market closed at 37,898 on the first day of the week after sliding consistently over the day. The day's high (39,297) and low (37,769) coincided respectively with the day's open and close of trading.

Volumes were sharply lower, with 186 million shares in all changing hands. Of the 349 scrips active, only 37 managed a positive close, while 297 closed red and 15 remained unchanged.

The Bank of Punjab (18.4m shares traded), K-Electric (12.2m), Worldcall Telecom (10.3m), TRG Pakistan (8.1m) and Lotte Chemical (6.4m) dominated volumes.

In terms of overall volume, Commercial Banks dominated trading activity, followed by Technology & Communication scrips, Chemicals, Cement and Power Generation.

Murtaza Jafar of Elixir Securities wrote: "Panic selling was witnessed in retail names on reported margin selling while index heavy MSCI scripts also came under renewed selling pressure on reported self-off from FII [Foreign Institutional Investors] and potential redemption from Mutual Funds.

"During the day, the Pakistani Rupee also weakened by another 1.5% in the Open (Kerb) Market to Rs129.5 against the greenback [dollar]," he added.

"Conclusion of the Financial Action Task Force review meeting and clarity on funding of depleting foreign exchange reserves are likely to restore investor confidence as the Government of Pakistan has so far not announced any concrete measures or policy direction to address the balance of payment crisis," he observed.



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