KARACHI: Pakistan’s stock market failed to break the bearish spell for the fourth day in a row 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 despite discounted price levels.

The Karachi Share Index (KSE-100) lost 752.74 points (1.7%) after closing at 43,548.21 points, against the previous closing of 44,300.95 points. The market went as high as 44,430.28 points during intra-day trading, while recording as low as 43,472.79 points.

Trading volume increased to 302.8 million shares today, as compared to 266.8 million traded in the previous session, according to Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX)’s website data. The daily traded value declined to Rs 13.42 billion from Rs 14.38 billion in the previous session, the data said.

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 that lasted till the end of the trading day.

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. The fear seems to be the biggest factor behind the current declines as the share prices are at very attractive levels to call in fresh buying, they added.

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 share price of Sapphire Textile increased by Rs64.60 to Rs925.97, while Sapphire Fiber gained Rs54 to Rs855. On the other hand, Rafhan Maize lost Rs700 today to close at Rs9,500, while Colgate Palmolive lost Rs97.99 to close at Rs2,750.01.

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


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