KARACHI - Disruptions in global capital markets caused by anti-government protests, which have been spreading across the Middle East, put significant pressure on the local equity market on Monday and the KSE 100-share index fell below 12,000-point level. The 100-index lost 76.47 points or 0.64 per cent to close at 11,964.68 points. The index had ended at 12, 041.5 points mark on Friday. Volumes remained low at 50.83 million shares versus 70 million shares traded previously at the market. According to daily trading statistics released by the KSE on Monday, market capitalization stood at Rs3, 236.93 billion or $37.85 billion while the ready market value accounted for Rs1.96 billion or $22.95 million. The statistics showed that the KSE 30-index suffered loss of 88.82 points or 0.76 per cent to close at 11,527.84 level. KSE future volume was recorded at Rs1.48 million shares whereas KSE future value came at Rs131.09 million, showing 9.54 per cent spread. Bearish activity witnessed in the earnings announcement session with thin volumes. Investors remained on the sidelines despite higher global commodity prices and high expectations for early launch of leverage products, said Ahsan Mehanti, Director Arif Habib Investments Limited. He was of the view that rising political uncertainty and concerns over rising fiscal deficit played a catalyst role in the negative close. The financial results announcements by the heavy players of the corporate sector including UBL, HUBCO, PICIC insurance and Arif Habib Investments, etc neither appealed investors sentiments nor boosted stock performance. Meanwhile, an analyst from Topeline Research in his report issued Monday stated that political euphoria at Pakistans Karachi bourse has again started to resurface as investors are worried over 2 key political events that will decide market tone for the next few weeks as December corporate result season is coming to an end. These include 1) Raymond Davis case and 2) PML (N) deadline on 10-point agenda expiring on Feb 23. He said the investors have started to take these events seriously as despite foreign buying market is down 3 per cent in last 2 weeks with volumes at 4 month low. According to the analyst, the government might seek time for other key issues like price control measures, formation of a Judicial Commission to probe the artificial increase in sugar price, return of defaulting loans since 1971, election commission reforms, implementation of Supreme Court decisions, draft of accountability law, energy plan formulation, restructuring of public sector enterprises and change in the petroleum prices through a transparent mechanism. He predicted that the issue of transparent petroleum price mechanism would continue to linger due to lack of consensus among the stakeholders. Thus, given the fact that international oil prices continuously rising on Middle East tension, the government is yet to face another challenge on February 28 when government will set oil prices for next month. Due to strong opposition from coalition partners, the government is maintaining local oil prices for last 3 months, though prices in international oil product prices have gone up by 18 per cent. But this time the situation is crucial as government has no room to further absorb the impact of rising international oil prices as governments PL (petroleum levy) is near to zero. If government maintains the oil prices at the expense of huge subsidies, it will be popular step for common people but negative for the stock market since it will have serious consequences on the economy and circular debt, he said.