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Thursday Mar 12 2020

Trading halted at Pakistan Stock Exchange for second time this week

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KARACHI: Trading at Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) was halted for the second time this week amid a global meltdown in the international financial markets.

The benchmark KSE-100 index was at 36,348 when the trading was halted at 02:17pm today for 45 minutes. 

On Monday, the PSX’s benchmark KSE-100 index plunged 2,106 points after the starting bell on the first day of the trading week, forcing authorities to halt trading.

External shocks due to breakout of coronavirus infections are pushing Pakistani stocks into a bear market, with the Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE-100) losing 1,324 points during intraday trading so far today.

Pakistan Stock Exchange Ltd

The plunge was just the latest in a series of shocks which started Monday.

The bearish trend in the market today set in after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus as a global pandemic.

Also read: What do the crashing oil prices mean for Pakistan?

In an interview with Dawn, Deputy Head of Research at AKD Securities, Ali Asghar Poonawala, expressed his views, saying a "trifecta of dampeners is feeding into the negative sentiment".

He attributed the bearishness to the panicked sell off in international markets owing to coronavirus related travel restrictions around the globe.

Poonawala also said that local markets are facing the plunge as first case of the novel coronavirus was reported in a corporate firm and there was “spillover on the management” and it was reflected in the stock market.

Also read: Sugar, wheat crisis a result of government's negligence, admits PM Imran

Moreover, he was of the view that instability of rupee value is also pushing the fall.

Head of Foreign Institutional Sales at Next Capital Limited, Muhammad Faizan, was cited in Dawn, where he mentioned how coronavirus is affecting global trade.

"Travel restrictions don't impact markets as such, global trade disruptions impact markets," he was quoited as saying.