KARACHI: Even before trading began, investors and traders knew it was going to be a tough day for the stock market.
Expectations were met as less than halfway into the session the KSE-100 Index plunged over 1,000 points or almost 2.5% with market participants adopting a dump-and-run approach even as valuations reached an attractive level.
Index-heavy banking, cement and oil sectors were hit and all major scrips lost value. The Supreme Court’s order of summoning heads of three private banks in a case about suspicious transactions took toll on market participants that saw further upheaval in the political sphere ahead of the elections on July 25.
UBL, one of the three banks, was nearing its lower price limit after having lost Rs7.33 or 4.5%. Summit Bank, also named in the order, also shed close to 14% of its value in intra-day trading.
By 12:15pm, the KSE-100 Index had fallen near the 39,230 level, a retreat of 2.6% or 1,054 points, with no respite in sight.
Market analysts say stocks will continue to remain under pressure in the near term as former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter return to the country after being handed jail sentences by an accountability court hearing the Avenfield properties reference.
With the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) naming former president Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur as beneficiaries in a money-laundering case, political upheaval is set to continue.
Prominent banker Hussain Lawai faces charges of laundering Rs25b through 29 fake accounts
SBP says market forces determining inter-bank rate
Benchmark index loses 1.56% to finish trading at 43,002.84