The Pakistan Stock Exchange fell to its lowest level in more than five years Thursday morning after the benchmark KSE-100 lost another 1,700 points within few minutes of its opening, leading to a trade halt of 45 minutes, the sixth in the last 10 sessions.
After temporary halt was lifted, the bourse shed more points, sending the KSE-100, a gauge to measure market performance, down 27% since March 6. When this report was filed around 10:50am, the market was hovering at 28,633 points level.
The latest temporary halt at the PSX comes after Pakistan reported its first two deaths caused by coronavirus. The number total known cases in Pakistan has surged to 301.
Equity markets across the world continue to bleed over fears of the economic implications of the COVID-19, which the World Health Organization declared as a global pandemic last week. Markets across the world have crashed with many witnessing temporary trade halts. The Pakistani market followed the global trend.
If the KSE-30, which tracks the performance of 30 large and most liquid stocks, moves 5% up or down from its opening value for five minutes, the rule is that trade must be halted for 45 minutes so investors can take fresh positions.