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stocks plunge as COVID-19 cases rise

Stocks on the Pakistan Stock Exchange plunged once again on Monday as rising Covid-19 cases in the country and around the world rattled investor sentiment, pushing the benchmark index down approximately 1,000 points within an hour of the opening bell.

The KSE-100 index was down 963.74 points at 38,924.26 by 12:55pm.

Commercial banks were among the top losers, followed by oil and gas exploration companies, cement, and oil and gas marketing companies.

Mohammad Sohail from Topline Securities said,

“The market is under pressure due to the fear of a global lockdown amid rising coronavirus cases.”

“Overall sentiments are weak due to uncertainty on rising virus cases, falling oil prices, and the likely impact of the US elections,” Sohail added.

Oil-related stocks were under pressure due to falling crude prices on account of worsening demand during lockdowns.

“The benchmark WTI oil price has fallen more than four per cent since last Friday to $34.5 per barrel, extending losses to approximately 12pc, on growing concerns that the rise in cases in Europe and the United States could hurt fuel consumption,” said Sherman Securities, a brokerage house.

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