KARACHI: Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) failed to break the bearish spell extended from the previous week as investors remained cautious regarding the country’s foreign diplomatic issues. In addition to this, the rise in COVID-19 infection in the last few days also had a negative impact.

The Karachi Share Index (KSE-100) ended the day 257.06 points (0.54 per cent) down at 47,429.12 points against the previous closing of 47,686.18 points. The market went as high as 47,742.23 points during intra-day trading, while recorded as low as 43,375.68 points.

Trading volumes declined to 494.53 million shares today as compared to 563.8 million shares during the previous trading day, while the daily traded value also moved down to Rs15.36 billion from Rs16.33 billion in the previous session, the data said.

The market started the day with an attempt at recovery with the support of some selective buying by some institutions and managed to push the Index in positive territory. However, the selling pressure proved much stronger that pulled down the market back in negative in just a few minutes.

The statement by the prime minister indicating the seriousness of Afghan political and security issues for Pakistan and neighboring countries in the region made investors even more cautious, traders and analysts said.

While the continued rise in COVID-19 infection also added to the negative sentiments for the market, they added. Prime Minister Imran Khan in a telephone call with Iran President-elect Ebrahim Raisi expressed concern about the security the situation in Afghanistan.

The prime minister cautioned that the latest developments could lead to serious repercussions for both Pakistan and Iran, resulting in an influx of refugees towards the bordering areas of the two countries.

Meanwhile, for the fifth consecutive day, Pakistan recorded over 1,000 new COVID-19 infections. In the last 24 hours, the country registered 19 fatalities due to COVID-19 while 1,347 people tested positive, according to the latest statistics released by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC).

The share price of Rafhan Maize increased by Rs453 to Rs10,250, while Sanofi-Aventis gained Rs63.99 to Rs964.99. On the other hand, Unilever Foods lost Rs200 today to close at Rs15,800 while Pakistan Tobacco lost Rs70 to close at Rs1,380.

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


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