Pakistan’s stock market, despite opening in positive, fell under a bearish spell amid both federal and provincial governments hinting at tighter lockdowns to curb COVID-19.The fear of restrictions on businesses and trade increased the selling pressure, pushing the KSE-100 index below 44,000 points.

The market remained positive only for a brief amount of time at the start of the day and bordered around the 44,500 points barrier. However, selling pressure pushed it in negative to 43,842.75 points with a fall of 458.20 points by 11:30 AM.

Statistics showing new COVID infection rates along with statements made by government decision point towards incoming lockdowns, traders and analysts stated, adding that this is keeping the market under pressure.

In the last 24 hours, 4,323 people tested positive for COVID-19 in Pakistan while 43 lost their lives, according to the latest statistics released by the National Command and Control Centre (NCOC). The country’s critical cases have risen to 3,587.

The author is a senior business and economy journalist . He has worked for leading local and international news organisations.

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