KARACHI: Investors watched with disbelief as red was splashed all over the electronic board at the Pakistan Stock Exchange till past mid-day when the KSE-100 index went into the free fall hitting 47,774 — the lowest point this year — showing a massive intraday decline of 531 points (1.1 per cent).

Most market watchers agreed that the spectre of the outcome of Panama Papers case haunts the market. The delay in the pronouncement of the verdict is raising uncertainty by the day and ‘uncertainty’, most said, was worst than bad news for the market.

Dealers at Topline Securities observed that the dip opened up valuations and foreign investors swooped in to pick up attractive stocks worth $4.7m, which helped market recover. The index thus retrieved almost all of the losses to close the trading session on a flat note, down by 16.17 points at 48,289.66.

Trading volumes dec­reased 12.6pc over the previous day at 180 million shares, while traded value dropped 5.5pc to Rs10.2bn.

Pressure to the downside was instigated by HUBC which fell 1.51pc, MCB 0.96pc, FFC 1.05pc, BAHL 1.46pc and Engro 0.48pc taking away 84 points.

From sector perspective utilities down 0.82pc, consumer staples 0.46pc and health care 0.38pc, while energy added 0.85pc and financials 0.21pc contributing towards recouping intraday losses.

Intermarket Securities wrote that multiple factors like delay in implementing reforms pertaining to in-house financing, declining sales number for cements, autos, fertilisers and OMCs, tumbling crude oil prices, rising trade deficit and decline in remittances; all are contributing to a weak overall sentiment amid a relatively unchanged fundamental picture.