Stocks plummet 775 points as Covid cases, lockdown fears rise

KARACHI: The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) plunged once again on Monday, as rising Covid cases within and outside Pakistan continued to rattle investor sentiment, pushing the benchmark index down over 1,100 points intraday.

“Continuing with the downtrend from last week, the stock market posted heavy losses within the trading hour, mainly due to the end of earnings’ season as well as the recent spike in Covid cases,” said a report issued by AHL Ltd. “Although the PSX saw signs of intermittent recovery on the pretext of Supreme Court’s decision on GIDC review case, selling pressure kept the index recovery in check.”

The benchmark KSE-100 Index remained in the negative throughout the day, recording its intraday low at 38,778.68 after shedding 1,109.32 points. It settled lower by 775.82 points at 39,112.18.

Among other indices, the KMI-30 Index plunged 1,375.53 points to close at 62,121.16, while the KSE All Share Index dropped 619.35 points, ending at 27,566.21.

The overall market declined from 541.8 million shares in the previous session to 322.3 million shares (-41pc). Average traded value also dropped by 41pc, from $127 million to $74.7 million. Hascol Petroleum Ltd (HASCOL -7.45pc), Unity Foods Ltd (UNITY +1.92pc) and Pakistan International Bulk Terminal Ltd (PIBTL -2.24pc) led the volume chart, exchanging 32.40 million, 31.20 million and 20.16 million shares, respectively.

Sectors that dragged the benchmark index lower included banking (-186.47 points), oil & gas exploration (-143.52 points) and oil & gas marketing sector (-70.89 points). Among the companies, Habib Bank Ltd (HBL -68.79 points), Oil and Gas Development Company Ltd (OGDC -66.79 points) and Pak Petroleum Ltd (PPL -60.37 points) dented the index the most.

Losing 6.34pc from its total market capitalization, the refinery sector ended as the session’s top loser, with Attock Refinery Ltd (ATRL -4.80pc), Pakistan Refinery Ltd (PRL -5.83pc), National Refinery Limited (NRL -5.38pc) and Byco Petroleum Pakistan Limited (BYCO -7.20pc) posting significant losses.

Meanwhile, according to a PSX notification, UBL Pakistan Enterprise Index (UPP9) has carried its re-composition as of October 29, 2020. DG Khan Cement Company Limited (DGKC +0.98pc) would be added to the index while Bank AlFalah Limited (BAFL -1.81pc) would be removed. The changes would be implemented tomorrow (November 3).

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