KARACHI: The Pakistan Stock Exchange endured a hammering on the first day of the week as the KSE-100 index slipped over 1,300 points in intra-day trading driven by political turmoil and a spike in global benchmarks.
The sharp increase in international oil prices past the $130 per barrel mark motivated investors to adopt a dump and run stance and triggered panic selling at the bourse.
Moreover, Prime Minister Imran Khan’s jibe at western nations during a speech on Sunday signaled deterioration of the country’s ties with the west and aided the sell-off.
Khan hit out on western envoys who last week urged Pakistan to condemn Russia’s actions in Ukraine, asking them if they thought Pakistan was their “slave”.
The heads of 22 diplomatic missions, including those of European Union member states, released a joint letter on March 1 urging Pakistan to support a resolution in the United Nations General Assembly condemning Imran Khan’s aggression against Ukraine.
At 12:24 PM, the KSE-100 index was trading at 43,462.4 points after a loss of 1,088.95 points or 2.44%.
Alpha Beta Core Founder and CEO Khurram Shehzad said “we had to be careful on speeches and siding with any countries or going against any. Economic interest should be supreme to everything else.”
With oil approaching an all-time high, and economic policy decisions being loss-accretive too, Pakistan needs political harmony as no government would be able to manage the current situation.
“This is no time to play politics, as people at large are going to suffer due to rising economic woes,” he said.