Panic grips bourse as index plummets 1,216 points

KARACHI: Shares on the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSE) took a plunge shortly after the start of the first trading session of the week.

Witnessing a slide by 1,216 points in the early hours on Monday, the benchmark index slightly recovered afterwards to clock up at 30,153.42 points at 12:30pm, which is down 2.7% from the start of trading.

As many as 251 stocks declined while only 23 registered an increase in their values by noon. “Nervousness is setting in because of foreign selling,” Next Capital CEO Najam Ali said while speaking to The Express Tribune.

In addition to foreign selling, local buyers are also cautious mainly because of the ongoing investigation against PSX brokers by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), Ali added.

The KSE-100 index had declined 4.7% last week, with almost all sectors of the stock market showing a week-on-week decrease. Foreign investors have been pulling out their investments in the wake of a global meltdown in equity markets for the last few months.

The Pakistani share market had remained largely flat in 2015, as the KSE-100 Index gained just 685 points, resulting in a meagre annual return of 2.1%.

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