KARACHI: The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) failed to break the bearish spell, as the fear of the spread of COVID-19 infection rate gripped market sentiments forcing investors to keep investments at lows and adopt wait and see policy.

The benchmark index fell near 44,000 points levels from over 45,000 points mark in one trading day on Friday.

The Karachi Share Index (KSE-100) lost 600.76 points (0.85 per cent) after closing at 44,262.35 points, against the previous closing of 44,863.11 points. The market went as high as 45,056.90 points during intraday trading, while recording as low as 44,144.23 points.

Trading volume increased to 293.74 million shares today compared to 280.67m traded in the previous session, according to PSX’s website data. The daily traded value inched up to Rs13.7 billion from Rs13.6bn in the previous session, the data said.

There is a prevailing cautious feeling among investors regarding the situation in the upcoming days. It seems prudent to keep the portfolio light during weekly off at the market, traders and analysts have said.

The situation may get clear in the next few days as there are reports of a strict lockdown by Monday. People need to see the COVID numbers going down before making any potential investment, they added.

The share price of Island Textile increased by Rs143.88 to Rs2,062.33, while Sapphire Textile gained Rs63.82 to Rs915.49. On the other hand, Philip Morris Pakistan lost Rs48.90 today to close at Rs850, while National Refinery lost Rs38.63 to close at Rs532.38.

In the last 24 hours, 5,112 people tested positive for COVID-19 while 131 lost their lives, according to the latest statistics released by the National Command and Control Centre (NCOC).

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

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

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