Rising political heat melts equities; index loses 1,378 points.

KARACHI -- Share prices sank like a stone on Tuesday on escalating instability on both economic and political fronts.

More than Rs199.3 billion worth of investment value was wiped out in a single day. It was the biggest day-on-day decline as measured by the benchmark of 100 representative shares since June 24, 2022, according to Arif Habib Ltd.

It said uncertainty among investors plunged the KSE-100 index to an intraday low of 1,432.94 points. Reports about a further delay in the revival of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme, along with continuous political upheaval, made them lose their confidence, it said. Trade volumes remained healthy across the board as investors rushed to square up their investment positions.

Speaking to Dawn, Topline Securities CEO Mohammed Sohail said the top three measures necessary for a swift reversal in the downward market trend are the immediate signing of the staff-level agreement with the IMF, adjustment in the rupee's value against the dollar that's reflective of the ground realities and instant materialisation of dollar inflows from friendly countries to shore up the foreign exchange reserves.

Thanks to a prolonged bearish trend on the bourse, the total value of shares listed on the stock exchange has dropped to $23bn from $100bn in 2017 - roughly six years that Mr Sohail termed 'the worst period' in the history of the stock market.

The KSE-100 index settled on Tuesday at 38,342.21 points, down 1,378.54 points or 3.47pc from the preceding session.

The overall trading volume increased 95.1pc to 205.9...

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