KARACHI: Stocks continued to bleed as panic-induced selling persisted on Thursday with the KSE-100 Index falling 450 points to end below the 44,750 level.
The benchmark landed in the red soon after trading began with selling pressure causing it to plummet over 640 points in intra-day trading before a minor recovery trimmed losses.
At close, the benchmark KSE-100 Index finished with a decrease of 449.74 points or 1% to settle at 44,746.63.
Elixir Securities’ analyst Ali Raza said the fall came on the back of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) report that stated Pakistan’s growth will slow down to 4.7% for FY19 against government’s target of 6.2%.
“The market only traded briefly in the green zone and was then dragged lower on thin volumes,” said Raza. “Index-heavy financials (-1.7%), energy (-1.01%) and autos (-0.96%) were among the major decliners on the KSE-100 Index on reported foreign selling, while fertilisers (-1.1%) and utilities (-0.9%) also witnessed profit-taking reportedly from local institutions
“At this point, the index is trading around its daily 55 EMA that might hold as a support. However, any violation below this area would warn of further weakness towards 44,000 level.”
Shares of 370 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 80 stocks closed higher, 274 declined while 16 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs6.5 billion.
Bank of Punjab was the volume leader with 14.1 million shares, losing Rs0.24 to close at Rs11.97. It was followed by Lotte Chemical with 10.7 million shares, losing Rs0.4 to close at Rs11.26 and Unity Foods with 8.1 million shares, losing Rs1.66 to close at Rs31.66.
Overall, trading volumes increased to 144 million shares compared with Wednesday’s tally of 131 million.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs346.7 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.