KARACHI: The benchmark-100 index continued to fall south as worried investors offloaded equity in fear of worse to come. A drop in global markets and further dip in the price of crude meant investors took little interest in injecting money as no sector escaped the bearish sentiment.

Investors were also worried over reports of the FIA serving notices to several brokers over an ongoing investigation.

At close on Thursday, the Pakistan Stock Exchange’s (PSX) benchmark KSE-100 index closed at 31,441.02, falling 2.22%% or 713.15 points.

In another development, an emergency meeting of the PSX board of directors has been called over the FIA investigation. The meeting will be held either on Friday or Saturday.

Elixir Securities analyst Faisal Bilwani said Pakistan equities tumbled by over 2.2% with benchmark KSE-100 settling below 31,500.

“Turmoil in the region and rumours of 12 brokers being served notices by investigative agency led to panic while institutional buying failed to lend support,” said Bilwani.

“Stocks plummeted on thin volumes led by oils that remain under pressure. Oil & Gas Dev Co (OGDC,-3.4%) traded most since Feb 2009 as reportedly foreign seller and buyer matched trades on system with stock testing  Rs100 per share; lowest since August 2011,” said Bilwani.

JS Global analyst Ovais Ahsan said all hopes of the market rebounding disappeared in thin air. “The biggest laggards of the sector were POL (-5%), PPL (-5%) and Byco (-5%).

Trade volumes rose to 190 million shares compared with Wednesday’s tally of 115 million.

Shares of 357 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 40 stocks closed higher, 299 declined while 18 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs9.7 billion.

K-Electric Limited was the volume leader with 13.6 million shares, losing Rs0.14 to finish at Rs7.09. It was followed by OGDC with 8.9 million shares, losing Rs3.55 to close at Rs100.59 and Pak Elektron with 8.2 million shares, losing Rs3.01 to close at Rs63.06.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs15 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited (NCCPL).

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