KARACHI: In line with its usual sell-off, the stock market nosedived nearly 780 points in intra-day trading on Monday on the back of deteriorating macroeconomic indicators.
The KSE-100 index maintained its downward march throughout the day, falling below the 37,000-point threshold. Investor sentiments were dented following a report issued by the World Bank titled 'South Asia Economic Focus - Exports Wanted'.
In addition to that, slow progress in talks with the International Monetary Fund also aggravated matters for the stock investors, resulting in the index ending deep in the red. Ongoing political uncertainty added to the heavy selling witnessed in almost all major sectors.
At the end of trading, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded a decrease of 599.90 points, or 1.60%, to settle at 36,921.91.
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According to a report of Topline Securities, the equities faced a downslide on first trading session of the week, losing 600 points to end at 36,922 - the lowest level since October 2018.
"The decline in equities primarily followed rumours about a decline in cement prices that exerted pressure on cement stocks; negative sentiments were also driven by a World Bank report, which said Pakistan's GDP growth will decelerate to 3.4% in FY19 and further drop to 2.7% in FY20," the report stated.
Among major sectors, cement remained the worst performing, erasing 120 points from the index, followed by commercial banks and fertilisers, which cumulatively struck 138 points off the KSE-100 index.
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Overall, trading volumes increased to 107 million shares compared with Friday's tally of 101.74 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs4.1 billion.
Shares of 351 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 50 stocks closed higher, 286 declined and 15 remained unchanged.
K-Electric was the volume leader with 10.9 million shares, losing Rs0.25 to close at Rs4.98. It was followed by Fauji Cement with 9.5 million shares, losing Re1 to close at Rs18.48 and Unity Foods (R) with 8.1 million shares, losing Rs0.21 to close at Rs3.55.
Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs314.2 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.