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Lockdown fear amid rising Covid-19 cases make market jittery

KSE-100 loses over 1,000 points on Monday

SAMAA | - Posted: Mar 29, 2021 | Last Updated: 2 weeks ago
Posted: Mar 29, 2021 | Last Updated: 2 weeks ago
Lockdown fear amid rising Covid-19 cases make market jittery

People in facemasks at a Sunday weekly Aabpara bazaar in Islamabad. Punjab cities rolled out fresh lockdown measures as cases rose Monday, sending the stock market into a new low. PHOTO: ONLINE/Waseem Khan

As coronavirus cases went up and the government considered more lockdowns Monday, the Pakistan Stock Exchange’s benchmark KSE-100 index lost 1,089 points. The KSE-100 closed at 44,431 points.

“The Covid-19 cases have doubled,” said Adnan Sami, AVP Research Pak-Kuwait Investment Company. “There are also talks of lockdowns in the country, which has made the market jittery.”

Senior research analyst at JS Global Ahmed Lakhani said that the rising Covid-19 cases and a fear of an increase in the span of lockdowns impacted investor confidence.

Sami said that the market was apprehensive about the delay in Independent Power Producer (IPP) payments, which the government will be paying to tackle circular debt in the energy sector.

“The removal of Special Assistant to Prime Minister Nadeem Babar (over last year’s fuel crisis) has also contributed to the market apprehension.”

Last year, the KSE-100 index sunk to a five-year low with the emergence of coronavirus and lockdowns. The KSE-100 index, a market gauge to determine its standing, was not been this low since at least March 2015.

It went down a staggering 37% from January 13 last year. COVID-19 news intensified for the first time as the index touched a low of 27,267 points on March 26 after falling from 43,218 on January 13, 2020.

But later the market recovered and even crossed 46,000 points last month. The market has now again come under pressure amid the third wave of the pandemic. 

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