Stocks continued to fall for the third consecutive day on Friday, with analysts attributing the slump to the PTI’s long march and investors’ shifting positions.
The benchmark KSE-100 index lost 462.53 points, or 1.11 percent, by the session’s end to close at 41,140.33 points.
Aba Ali Habib Securities’ Salman Naqvi said the market had been under pressure for the last few sessions, the primary reason for which was political instability and the PTI’s long march to Islamabad, which has begun from Lahore today. The march has created uncertainty, he added.
In Lahore’s Liberty Chowk, where Imran Khan is heading the anti-government protest march that will arrive in Islamabad on November 4, a large crowd of PTI supporters had assembled. The march’s purpose is to pressure the government to conduct early elections in the nation.
Naqvi further said that investors had taken a back seat, offloading their positions out of fear of a law and order situation arising.
To deal with the protest, at least 13,086 people 4,199 police officers from Islamabad, 1,022 from Sindh police, 4,265 FC employees, and 3,600 Rangers had been stationed in various parts of the capital. Rana Sanaullah, the interior minister, issued a warning today, saying that if long march participants tried to break the law or disturb the peace in the capital, the government would deal with them harshly and take “strict Action”.
Additionally, Naqvi attributed today’s slump to “rollover week,” the last week of each month when futures contracts are to be settled or rolled over to the month and the stock market usually faces selling pressure.
“It is the last day (of the month) to offload positions, which is why the market is under pressure,” he commented.
The analyst said the country’s political situation would determine the market’s direction next week.