Meltdown on PSX; index plunges over 1,000 points

KARACHI: The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) witnessed a volatile start to the week, as the benchmark KSE-100 Index failed to sustain gains accumulated in early trade and crumbled over 1,000 points to fall below the 31,000-mark.

According to analysts, continuation of countrywide lockdowns amid concerns over the increasing number of coronavirus cases in the country triggered selling pressure at the bourse on Monday.

Meanwhile, among other developments, global oil prices sunk following a delay in the meeting between Saudi Arabia and Russia to discuss output cuts that could partly alleviate oversupply in global markets. Brent crude slipped close to $30 per barrel while WTI fell by 3.50pc intraday.

The benchmark KSE-100 Index started the day on a positive note, gaining 293.62 points to touch its intraday high at 31,915.41. However, as it turned out, the rally was short-lived with the index nosediving by 1,118.52 points to record its intraday low at 30,503.27. It finally ended lower by 1,042.64 points at 30,579.15.

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Among other indices, the KMI-30 Index plunged 1,700.37 points or -3.42pc to close at 48,002.16, while the KSE All Share Index lost 493.37 points, settling at 22,022.22.

The overall trading volumes were recorded at 233.14 million, with Maple Leaf Cement Factory Limited (MLCF -7.33pc), Hascol Petroleum Limited (HASCOL +0.51pc) and K-Electric Limited (KEL -7.69pc) topping the volume chart. The scrips had exchanged 23.04 million, 20.17 million and 17.01 million shares, respectively.

Sectors that drove the KSE-100 Index south included banking (-297.31 points), fertiliser (-143.06 points) and cement (-120.62 points). Among the companies, Habib Bank Limited (HBL -80.13 points), MCB Bank Limited (MCB -70.86 points) and Hub Power Company Limited (HUBC -62.27 points) dented the index the most.

The cement sector lost -4.42pc from its total market capitalization, as Lucky Cement Limited (LUCK -4.68pc), Fauji Cement Company Limited (FCCL -6.88pc) and Bestway Cement Limited (BWCL -2.62pc) incurred heavy losses.

Moreover, in a notification to the exchange, DG Khan Cement Company Ltd (DGKC -4.62pc) announced that the company has resumed production at its Khofli Sattai (DG Khan) plant in view of relaxation allowed to the construction industry from the prevalent lockdown.

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