KARACHI: Stocks were hammered as the KSE-100 index fell over 600 points in intra-day trading on Wednesday.
The turmoil in global equity markets following the rapid spread of the coronavirus continued to wreak havoc at the local bourse.
The KSE-100 index maintained a downward trajectory as investors reacted with panic to the ongoing developments and resorted to offloading stocks.
Stocks across the globe fell on Tuesday to their lowest since mid-December and the benchmark US debt yield was near a record low on lingering concerns about the economic hit of the spread of the novel coronavirus.
At 1:34pm, the KSE-100 index – a benchmark for market performance – was down 647.10 points or 1.67% to stand at 38,211.35 points.
Arif Habib Limited Head of Research Samiullah Tariq said the combined impact of the virus, weak regional markets, lower oil prices and deadlock with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) fuelled the bearish trend at the Pakistan Stock Exchange.
He was of the view that lower reported inflation in the start of the next month can help improve market sentiments.
The new coronavirus, believed to have originated from illegal wildlife sold in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year, has infected some 80,000 people and killed more than 2,600 people, most of them in China.
Switzerland confirmed its first case of the coronavirus earlier on Tuesday. Austria also confirmed its first two cases on Tuesday.