Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) witnessed a bloodbath on Thursday, losing over 1,900 points intraday amid persistent selling pressure.
Pakistani stocks came under fire today, as investors fled the market in light of a potential second wave of COVID-19 in the country. The National Command and Operations Center (NCOC) tightened precautionary measures against COVID-19 and issued a fresh warning of imposing lockdowns in large cities within Pakistan.
The government has now imposed restrictions on commercial and social activities in eleven vulnerable cities to curb the second wave of COVID-19. The market was bearish throughout the trading session, shedding over 1900 points during the intraday.
At the end of the day, KSE-100 closed at 39,888 points, down by -1298 or 3.15%.
Reportedly, institutional sell-off triggered today’s down-tick, while relatively low volumes failed to support the buying side. Despite multiple positive results across cyclical sectors, the selling pressure was up on account of global COVID-19 related lockdown restrictions in addition to the downward trend in international oil prices, which weighed on local E&P’s.
Investor sentiments have been shaken once again due to COVID-19 cases rising globally. That has led to turmoil in equity markets around the globe, and Pakistan Stock Exchange is no different. Moreover, the upcoming US elections on November 3 are only adding more uncertainty to the already volatile global markets.
Selling pressure was evident across the board with heavy selling in E&P and Banking sector stocks, which saw respective price levels near and at lower circuits.
“Increasing incidence of Corona cases, partial lockdown in Pakistan, Lockdowns in European countries, End of roll-over week, the end of result season, Global sell-off in Stocks, as well as Commodities markets were enough for the market to lose over 1900 points during the session,” said a report released by Arif Habib Ltd.
KSE-30 touched 5% prior to the maximum time limit of 2:30 pm and reversed in time to avoid a market halt.
In the All shares index, 541 million shares were traded today, while 375 million shares were traded in KSE-100. Shares of 372 companies were traded overall. At the end of the day, 50 stocks closed higher, 315 declined and 7 remained unchanged.
Sectors contributing to the performance today included Banks (-256pts), E&P (- 195pts), Fertilizer (-126pts), Cement (-102pts) and O&GMCs (-100pts).
The index is expected to be range-bound in the coming days with any potentially strict re-imposition of lockdown likely to have a negative effect on the market.