The Pakistan Stock Exchange extended the bearish spell for a third day on Thursday and the KSE-100 index slid 323 points, driven down by the weakening rupee, which may trigger a fresh wave of inflation across the country.
Market participants feared a spike in input costs of industries following persistent depreciation of the rupee against the US dollar.
Across-the-board selling was witnessed at the bourse with index-heavy automobile, cement, financial and oil sectors falling to close in the red.
The exploration and production sector received some respite from the uptick in global oil prices and half of the stocks in the sector registered a rise by the end of the session.
The session kicked off on a negative note, however, investors resorted to cherry-picking of stocks, which lifted the KSE-100 index upwards in early trading. Selling pressure gathered pace towards midday, erased all the gains and dragged the market down.
Late-session buying helped wipe off some of the losses, but still the market closed in the red.
At close, the benchmark KSE-100 index recorded a decrease of 323.27 points, or 0.67%, to settle at 48,157.63.
A report of Arif Habib Limited stated that the market tumbled again on Thursday with a drop of 365 points during the session. It closed down by 323 points.
Refinery, oil and gas marketing companies, cement, engineering, bank, fertiliser and technology stocks faced persistent selling pressure despite budget incentives announced on Friday last week.
Exploration and production sector companies were relatively unscathed on the back of stable oil prices, which hovered around $74 per barrel, the report said.
Overall trading volumes soared to 1.12 billion shares compared with Wednesday’s tally of 936.7 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs19.6 billion.
Shares of 413 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 116 stocks closed higher, 283 declined and 14 remained unchanged.
WorldCall Telecom was the volume leader with 243.2 million shares, gaining Rs0.17 to close at Rs4.01. It was followed by Silkbank with 188.6 million shares, gaining Rs0.23 to close at Rs1.8 and K-Electric with 57.4 million shares, losing Rs0.11 to close at Rs4.36.
Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs143.3 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.