Pakistan stocks took a tumble on the first trading session of the week, with political upheaval and a looming crackdown on some banking industry players sending jitters through the market. The benchmark KSE-100 Index declined 996 points (2.47pc) to close at 39,289 amidst tight volumes. Only 76 million shares of indexed companies were traded over the day, with a combined worth of Rs4.46 billion.
Elixir Securities described it as the “third largest daily decline of the year 2018”.
“Politics was much to blame for today’s fall, as sentiments were dented after Supreme Court barred key politicians and bankers from traveling abroad due to their possible involvement in money laundering. Moreover, increasing uncertainty over macros and persistent selling by local asset managers added to market plight,” said their analyst Muhammad Arbash.
“In the past seven trading sessions, the market has fallen by 2,709 points (down in six out of the seven sessions),” noted a Topline Securities analyst. “This amounts to 2.5pc decline over the last trading session and 6.5pc fall in the past seven trading sessions.” The index marked a day’s high of 40,373 before rapidly losing ground, reaching a low of 30,067 almost an hour before market close.
The day’s top symbols by traded volumes were:
K-Electric Ltd: 11.9m shares traded (-5.38pc); Bank of Punjab: 8.4m shares traded (-4.63pc); Lotte Chemical: 5.8m shares traded (-5.09pc); Unity Foods: 5.1m shares traded (-3.34pc), and Pak Elektron Ltd: 4.4m shares traded (-4.79pc).