PSX freefalls over 1,600 points


Shafaqna Pakistan: The Pakistan stock market was once again in freefall as the index plummeted by over a massive 1,600 points, falling below the significant 31,000 mark on Wednesday.

The slump once again triggered a halt in trading for 45 minutes, fifth in nearly two weeks.

Last time, trading stopped automatically after the PSX’s second benchmark KSE-30 Index fell 5% and failed to recoup losses within a five-minute window.

The previous three halts had come into play at 4% as per the previous laws.

At 10:17am, the KSE-100 index – a benchmark for market performance – was down 1,682.77 points or 5.16% to 30,934.16.

Selling pressure was witnessed in stocks across the board as pandemic fears caused mayhem at the bourse. The swift reaction was also seen folllwong an announcement of a near lock down situation in Sindh and comments by the prime minister that the cases are likely to increase.

Despite a 75 basis points rate cut in the interest rate to 12.5%, investors still opted to shun risky assets. The growing concerns regarding potential impact on trade and overall economic growth significantly dented sentiments.

Arif Habib Limited Head of Equity Sales Saad bin Ahmed told The Express Tribune, “Investors are disappointed on the nominal rate cut and expect the government to take corrective measures to restore investor confidence.”

Meanwhile, US stock futures and several Asian shares fell in choppy trade on Wednesday, as worries about the coronavirus pandemic eclipsed hopes broad policy support would combat the economic fallout of the outbreak.

Most traditional safe-haven assets were also under pressure as battered investors looked to unwind their damaged positions, leading to wide discrepancies between various markets.