KARACHI: The stock market went deep into depression on Friday as stocks across-the-board fell like ninepins.

The KSE-100 index lost 721.14 points, or 2.35 per cent, to close below the psychological barrier of 30,000 at 29,957.83. The index sank below the 30,000-level after 22 weeks. Panic-selling was seen on all sectors after the investors realised that there was no halt to the foreigners’ flight out of the market.

On Friday net portfolio outflow was of the huge sum of $7.47m. Foreign funds skipped out of chemicals; banks and cements with net sale of $3.3m; $1.1m and $2.4m, respectively.

The improvement in WTI and Brent oil prices on the back of Saudi-led Yemen war, failed to stimulate the oil and gas sector as 11 out of 13 listed stocks on the sector fell heavily.

The stocks that witnessed strong volumes, PAEL, ENGRO, MLCF, DGKC, EFOODS and FFC saw all out sell-off with those stocks closing down by 3.2pc, 3.7pc, 4.1pc, 4.8pc, 4.7pc and 4.2pc, respectively.

The panic spread in the market as it was rife with rumours of selling by leveraged investors to meet their margin calls. Friday was also the last day of futures rollover adding pressure to the steep market fall.

Volumes declined by 18pc to 213m shares of trading value at Rs10 billion compared to Thursday’s volume of 258m shares worth Rs12.7bn. Many leading stocks like DGKC, MLCF, NBP and FFBL hit their ‘lower circuit’.

Reports by stock brokerages said that the KSE-100 index had lost 1,842 points or 5.4pc during the week. It was the fifth consecutive week of negative closing and the index sank 12pc in five weeks.

During the week foreigners were net sellers of equity worth $15.1m.

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