KARACHI - The Pakistan Stock Exchange fell sharply on Thursday amid concerns over political uncertainty. The benchmark KSE 100-index remained under pressure throughout the day and lost 596 points to close at 38,223 points.

The market exhibited negative behavior from the start and remained in red throughout the day as National Assembly (NA) Speaker Ayaz Sadiq’s (affiliated with ruling party Pakistan Muslim League-N) statement that he feared that assemblies might not complete their term, and a greater plan was in the offing, unsettled the already nervous investors, observed dealer at Topline Securities.

Top index point decliners were HUBC (down 2.6%), DGKC (5%), MCB (1.6%), PSO (3.3%) & ENGRO (1.7%), withholding 150 points from the index while stocks including ABOT (up 3.1%), INDU (1.7%), COLG (2.4%), SHFA (3.9%) & CSAP (5%) added 32 points to the index.

On the sector front, cement, commercial banks, and E&P sector cumulatively took away 248 points from the index. On the flip side, chemical and miscellaneous sectors added a total of 10 points to the index.

Dealer at JS Global believe the decline was mainly due to the ongoing political situation in the country. Moreover, PKR weakened to a record low amidst expected pressure on the balance of payments of the country. Market volumes also dropped below 100m mark to reach 92.9m shares as compared to 117.7m shares of the previous day (-21% DoD). Average traded value also dropped by 24% DoD to end at USD 37.3m as against USD 48.9m. Stocks that contributed significantly to the volumes included TRG, KEL, PAEL, DCL and DFML, contributing a total of 32m shares, reflecting 35% share of total volumes.