KARACHI: Bears dominated trading at the stock market on Thursday as the index tumbled over 600 points in intra-day trading because of growing economic concerns.
The KSE-100 remained on a downward trajectory for most of the session, dropping below 37,600 points. Market participants were concerned over a dismal report of the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
The bank painted a worrying picture of Pakistan's economy, saying economic growth would slow down to 3.9% with higher inflation and there would be continued pressure on the exchange rate and current account deficit.
At the end of trading, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded a decrease of 506.68 points or 1.33% to settle at 37,516.12.
"The market took a nosedive with the KSE-100 index touching a low of 610 points and closing deeply in the red," stated Arif Habib Limited in its report.
Market watch: KSE-100 closes flat in range-bound trading
"Selling was seen across the board amidst rumours of resignation by a key government official. Initially, the market saw some positivity, but selling pressure built throughout the day and stocks like those of auto companies, which performed well on the news of revocation of 10% FED on 1,700cc and above vehicles, could not bear the pressure and eventually saw erosion of price gains."
Sectors that contributed negatively to the market's performance included banks (down 92 points), exploration and production companies (72 points), power companies (66 points), cement (50 points), and oil and gas marketing companies (35 points).
Stocks that contributed positively included MCB Bank (up 20 points), Fauji Fertiliser Bin Qasim (9 points), Meezan Bank (7 points), Service Industries (3 points) and Attock Petroleum (3 points).
Stocks that contributed negatively included Hubco (down 53 points), UBL (38 points), Pakistan Petroleum Limited (25 points), HBL (22 points) and Engro (22 points).
Market watch: KSE-100 loses 319 points, dented by five-year high inflation
Overall, trading volumes decreased to 127.96 million shares compared with Wednesday's tally of 153.3 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs3.4 billion.
Shares of 347 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 53 stocks closed higher, 271 declined and 23 remained unchanged.
Unity Foods (R) was the volume leader with 37.5 million shares, gaining Rs0.49 to close at Rs3.91. It was followed by WorldCall Telecom with 10.4 million shares, losing Rs0.03 to close at Rs1.10 and K-Electric Limited with 8.8 million shares, losing Rs0.11 to close at Rs5.10.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs104.3 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.