KSE-100 sinks 2,100 points amid virus uncertainty

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KARACHI: The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) took a massive beating on Tuesday, with the KSE-100 Index nosediving below the 29,000-mark intraday, triggering a two-hour market halt under revised regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP).

According to analysts, investors’ confidence remained low due to the increasing number of coronavirus cases across the country. Moreover, they added, countrywide lockdown also kept the investors at bay.

Global markets, on the other hand, swung higher on Tuesday.

“All hopes of government incentives/bailout package for the industry and masses went in vain amid a possibility of countrywide lockdown or curfew by the government,” said an official at Arif Habib Ltd. “A slight rebound in international crude prices kept the interest in exploration & production stocks alive; resultantly, Oil and Gas Development Company Ltd (OGDCL), Pakistan Petroleum Ltd (PPL) and Pakistan Oilfield Ltd (POL) traded above lower circuits.”

Shedding 2,156.96 points, the benchmark KSE-100 Index recorded its intraday low at 28,510.45. After struggling to find any positive trigger, the index ended lower by 2,102.58 points at 28,564.83.

Among other indices, the KMI-30 Index plunged 3,556.63 points to end at 43,903.81, while the KSE All Share Index lost 1,211.16 points, settling at 20,895.25. Out of the total traded shares, 24 advanced and 221 declined.

The overall volumes remained thin and were recorded at 98.75 million, with K-Electric Limited (KEL -11.71pc), Unity Foods Limited (UNITY -8.73pc) and The Bank of Punjab (BOP -12.48pc) topping the volume chart. The scrips had exchanged 25.60 million, 11.91 million and 9.60 million shares, respectively.

Sectors that drove the index south included banking (-601.82 points), fertilizer (-319.65 points) and oil & gas exploration (-279.54 points). Among the companies, Engro Corporation Limited (ENGRO -145.91 points), Habib Bank Limited (HBL -140.31 points) and Hub Power Company Limited (HUBC -108.26 points) dented the index the most.

In a notification to the PSX, Sazgar Engineering Works Limited (SAZEW -7.50pc) announced that the company has shut down its plant till further notice in order to curtail the spread of COVID-19 across provinces. Similarly, Pak Suzuki Motor Company Limited (PSMC -7.50pc) also announced to have stopped its operations (factory, showrooms) till further notice.

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