KARACHI: The initial gain of 66 points in early morning trade on Wednesday soon fizzled out with investors jostling to sell-off equity all day, leaving the entire trading board splashed with red.
The panic selling intensified in the last hour which pulled down the KSE-100 index to a loss of 680 points (1.56 per cent) and close at 43,002.83.
While there was nothing to show off a positive response to the amnesty scheme on which much of the market and government had pinned their hopes, uncertainty over macroeconomics and lack of near-term positive triggers took their toll on the investor sentiments.
The worries were exacerbated by the pressure on international oil prices and upcoming FATF decision on Pakistan. Market talk suggesting Moody’s downgrade of Pakistan’s rating and rumours of heavy foreign selling proved the last straw on camels back, prompting locals to jump into panic selling even at losses. Foreign investors have off-loaded stocks worth $94m since the start of the of the year in line with their exodus from most emerging markets.
The NCCPL figures showed net foreign sale of $2.65m worth of stocks on Wednesday. Although local institutional investors have managed to absorb much of the outflow, nervous investors were concerned over sell-off by mutual funds in anticipation of redemptions.
The traded volume slightly improved by 11pc over the previous day to 136m shares. Volume leaders included TRG, Lotte Chemical and PAEL.
Sector-wise data showed major erosion in commercial banks by 246 points and cements 103 points. Other’s that caused the index to bleed included E&P (79 points), food (77 points) and O&GMCs (36 points).
Among the shares that churned out major losses, HBL alone contributing 96 points to the index fall. Nestle hit its ‘lower circuit’, UBL lost 2.7pc, OGDC 2.1pc and Lucky Cement 3.2pc and the four together wiped off 320 points from the index.