Selling pressure was witnessed at the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) as the benchmark KSE-100, feeling the effect of deeper political turmoil, witnessed a decrease of over 450 points on Tuesday after the arrest of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan by law enforcement agencies outside the Islamabad High Court (IHC).
The benchmark KSE-100 Index saw a sharp fall at around 2:30pm when reports first surfaced that the PTI chairman and former prime minister was arrested in the Al-Qadir Trust Case by National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
Across-the-board selling was witnessed among the index-heavy sectors including, automobile, cement, chemical, commercial banks, oil & gas exploration companies and OMCs trading in the negative zone.
At close on Tuesday, the KSE-100 Index settled at 41,373.81 level, a decrease of 455.68 points or 1.09%.
“This is a developing situation,” Saad Khan, Head of Securities IGI Securities, told Business Recorder. “However, such negative news is problematic for the investors, as this would increase political instability,” he added.
The analyst said that the market is already depressed, and the current development would only worsen the situation.
“Foreign investors have already exited, domestic investors remain but they would also run off looking at the situation,” said Saad.
Arif Habib Limited (AHL), a brokerage house, in a note said that the market had opened with subdued sentiment as well.
“The stocks further tumbled following the arrest of former Prime Minister Imran Khan resulting the index to lose 551.76 in intra-day trading.
“Investor participation remained reasonable as decent volumes were recorded across the board while 3rd tier stocks remained in the limelight,” it added.
Sectors driving the benchmark index downwards included banking (109.45 points), oil and gas exploration (78.30 points) and fertilizer (56.31 points).
Volume on the all-share index rose to 203.1 million from 179.1 million on Monday, while the value of shares traded increased to Rs5.85 billion from Rs4.76 billion recorded in the previous session.
WorldCall Telecom was the volume leader with 31 million shares followed by National Bank with 10.6 million shares and K-Electric Limited with 8.3 million shares.
Shares of 329 companies were traded on Tuesday, of which 73 registered an increase, 245 recorded a fall and 11 remained unchanged.