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Stocks shed 394 points amid global sell-off

Updated October 12, 2018

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The Karachi Stock Exchange. ─ File photo
The Karachi Stock Exchange. ─ File photo

KARACHI: After two days of recovery, stocks beat a retreat on Thursday, tracking losses in world equity markets. The KSE-100 index opened sideways and remained under pressure throughout the day.

It bounced back after hitting intraday low by 535 points to close the day’s session with a loss of 393.79 points (1.02 per cent) at 38,398.30.

Overnight declines in US and European markets along with selling pressure in Asia caused local investors to trim their positions. Their worries took a new turn as rumours of the possibility of stocks in the MSCI emerging market index being eased out in their next semi-annual review in November, as none of the five scrips fulfilled the existing free float requirement.

Moreover, delegation of Financial Action Task Force’ Asia Pacific Group added fuel to the fire, asking the country to do more to be pulled out of greylist. Overwhelmed by the gloom and doom, investors failed to respond positively to the International Monetary Fund’s confirmation that Pakistan has approached it for a bailout.

The volume declined by 33pc to 135 million shares while traded value fell by 36pc to Rs5.31 billion. K-Electric led the volume charts after reports that the government was likely to issue no objection certificate to Shanghai Electric Power for the purchase of 66.40pc stake from Abraaj, ahead of PM’s visit to China next month.

Auto sector continued to fall, marking the 10th consecutive day of decline. Cement, commercial banks and oil and gas exploration sectors were hammered as they collectively lost 209 points.

Lucky Cement and United Bank fell on investors’ worries over the exclusion from MSCI EM index.

Major laggards were Habib Bank, down 3.31pc, Lucky Cement 4.99pc, Pakistan Oilfield 1.91pc, MCB 1.47pc and United Bank 1.52pc that erased 198 points from the index.

Published in Dawn, October 12th, 2018