KARACHI - The Karachi stock market remained in the red zone during the current week, down 5.5 per cent on week-on-week, amid alarming security concerns. The benchmark KSE-100 Index closed at 7,202.10 points, down 418.77 points from the last week closing of 7,620.87 points. Moreover, news regarding introduction of new taxes such as capital gains by the government in the next federal budget further kept the investors nervous. As a result, average daily volumes fell to a seven-week low of 162 million shares. Worryingly, the low volumes were despite better than expected results posted by blue chips such as Engro & Hubco. The worsening law and order situation in the metropolis along with the security concerns arising from Swat valley and nearby areas kept investors uneasy and hence dampened market sentiments. In this backdrop, the average daily volumes during the week dropped to seven weeks low of 162 million shares. The average volumes were down 32.7 percent when compared with the prior week. It is important to mention here that some major companies announced their March-end 2009 results during the week. However, despite blue-chip stocks such as Engro, Hubco and NBP posting strong financial results, huge selling was witnessed across the board due to various unfavourable reasons. Amongst the heavy weight sectors, Cement, Fertilizer, Commercial Banks and Oil and Gas Exploration fell by 9.2 percent, 7.4 percent, 5.8 percent and 3.5 percent, respectively. As a result, the total market capitalization of the bourse declined by 5.6 percent week-on-week to stand at US$26.7bn. According to the latest NCCPL data, offshore investors remained net sellers of US $ 1 million over the week. Gross buying by foreign investors stood at US$ 10.1 million while selling was recorded at US $ 11 million. On year to date basis, cumulative selling stands at US $ 251 million while in the month of April it amounted to US $ 12.2 million. Incidents like violence in Karachi affect the markets sentiment modestly and it deepens proportionally. Investors at the stock market remained worried about the law and order situation in the metropolis, but non-stop trading expelled the entire rumour, expressed Hasnain Asghar Ali while talking to The Nation. Meanwhile, it is expected that the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) may replace the curbs on individual scrips and impose trading limits on the KSE index to attract investors.