KARACHI - The local equity market closed sharply lower on Wednesday because of heavy institutional selling in scrips across the board. The Karachi Stock Exchanges 100-share index dropped by 98.53 points to close at 12,265.53 points against previous days closing of 12,364.06 points. The KSE 30-share index lost 129.54 points to close at 11,687.85 points. Market turnover was recorded at 61.22 million shares, while the total capitalisation amounted to Rs3,240.53 billion or $37.43 billion. Ahsan Mehanti, Director at Arif Habib Investments Limited, said that investors concerns over rising circular debt in the energy sector of Pakistan, production concerns in oil & gas exploration sector, falling global capital markets on the US debt default concerns and limited foreign interest played a catalyst role in bearish sentiment despite record earning announcements in fertiliser sector. Hasnain Asghar Ali, a senior analyst at Aziz Fida Husein & Co, said that rising judicio-political temperature was yet another nail in the coffin, victimized by low turnover, the roll-over anxiety, and sell-ff by the local corporate participants, exhausted due to dumping by the off-shore participants, led to massive low volume price erosion. Thus, disallowing success to the much practiced syndicated activity to restrict decline in the high priced stocks. However, the benchmark failed to reflect the wider sentiment thats why deep red stayed the colour of the day. He further said that the sell-off was mainly witnessed in the high priced stocks, unable to sustain the high valuations due to curtailed local strength and absence of follow-up support, along with the sectors and stocks facing, rising input cost and declining local and export demand, gas curtailment and high debt portfolio, along with those directly or indirectly hit by the ballooning circular debt, low volume certainly magnified the sell-off. Technical bounce back might allow the major losers to recover, however speculative recovery that may not find support of turnover, will offer chance to reduce holdings, he opined.