Karachi: Pakistan Stock Exchange remained under the bearish spell throughout the week as the statistics regarding the COVID-19 infection spread panic and the warnings by the government with indications of lockdowns kept rising. The benchmark KSE-100 Index lost 206.81 points, retreating to 44,706.76 points at the end of the week from 44,913.57 points at the start on Monday.

“News from the business and economy front were favorable but the worsening COVID-19 situation overshadowed everything this week,” Khurram Schezad, CEO Alpa Beta Core, said in a telephonic chat from Karachi.

“The technical estimates worked less and the fundamentals kept the market under pressure.” he added.

The infection rate in Pakistan rose from around 8.5 percent during the start of the week to over 11 percent by the end of the week while during last 24 hours Pakistan recorded highest-ever coronavirus deaths; positivity rate at 11.27 percent and 5,908 infections reported in the past 24 hours.

Muhammad Mubashir at JS Global Capital said that the market opened the week in red zone and remained under pressure amid announcement of countrywide lockdowns to be implemented.

The National Coordination Committee (NCC) on Friday imposed a ban on indoor dining till Eid and closed schools in districts that have a positivity rate above five percent in a bid to contain the coronavirus situation that is growing worse by every passing day.

In a bid to force people to follow anti-coronavirus precautions, such as wearing masks and closing markets at 6pm, Prime Minister Imran Khan, who chaired the NCC meeting, said that he has asked the Pakistan Army to help police in the implementation of the SOPs.

Traders and analysts said in such situations the investors prefer to keep their portfolios light to avoid losses. However, if the government measures worked positively the decline in share prices will recover fast in upcoming weeks that will prove an opportunity for fresh investments, they added.

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

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