PSX gains 216.37 points to close at 44,260.11 points

KSE-100 falls as Pakistan’s first suspected Omicron case sparks lockdown fears

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Karachi: The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) closed down again on Thursday, with the benchmark KSE-100 index falling by more than 300 points.

After midday, news broke that Pakistan may have detected the first COVID-19 case of the Omicron variant, and the benchmark index succumbed to pressure. Rumors of a possible blockade in certain areas of Karachi suppressed investor sentiment.

Due to the lack of positive triggers and uncertain political and economic prospects, the exchange is facing selling pressure, and investors remain cautious throughout the trading hours.

In addition, market participants are more willing to stay on the sidelines before announcing monetary policy next week.

The devaluation of the Pakistani rupee closed at 177.61 rupees against the US dollar, breaking all previous records, and the expectation of higher than expected current account deficits restricted investors from taking new positions.

At today’s close, the benchmark KSE-100 index fell 328.03 points, or 0.75%, to close at 43,518.84 points.

A report from Topline Securities reported noted that investors’ sentiment dampened on the news regarding a suspected Omicron case that emerged in the country, “paving the way for another possible cycle of smart lockdowns in the [affected] areas”.

Shares of 332 companies were traded during the session. At the close of trading, 72 scrips closed in the green, 237 in the red, and 23 remained unchanged.

Overall trading volumes dropped to 200.5 million shares compared with Wednesday’s tally of 233.2 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs8.7 billion.

TRG Pakistan was the volume leader with 25.7 million shares traded, gaining Rs1.34 to close at Rs95.05. It was followed by Telecard Limited with 13.3 million shares traded, losing Rs0.76 to close at Rs14.81, and Hascol Petroleum with 12.53 million shares traded, losing Rs0.37 to close at Rs6.33.

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