KSE-100 battered by Senate poll upset

Our Correspondent

A major upset in Senate elections and subsequent political developments jolted the stock market on Thursday as the benchmark KSE-100 index nosedived nearly 900 points.

Contrary to market expectations, Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh lost contest for a Senate seat to former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, which dampened investor interest and sparked sell off during the day.

Uncertainty shrouded trading at the stock market owing to the emerging political situation and market participants resorted to panic selling, resulting in a steep fall in the KSE-100 index.

Index-heavy automobile, cement, oil, financial and fertiliser sectors bled throughout the session and some of them closed entirely in the red.

The session opened with a drop of over 1,000 points, however, a modest recovery followed over the next few hours.

Investor sentiment weakened towards midday on rumours that the vote of confidence would be held on Saturday, which gave the investors little room to sell stocks and book profit. The bearish spell accelerated towards the close, inflating the losses.