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Pakistan Stock Exchange halts trading as index slumps 5%

Waheed Abbas/Dubai
Filed on March 25, 2020
The growing cases of coronavirus are maintaining pressure on the rupee and equity market of the country.

The trading was halted when KSE-100 Index slumped 1,270 points to 27,295 points.

Pakistan Stock Exchange halted trading again on Wednesday after index plummeted five per cent, shrugging off stimulus package and interest rate cuts announced by the government on Tuesday.

The trading was halted when KSE-100 Index slumped 1,270 points to 27,295 points. Since December 2019 to date, the benchmark has declined by 33.0 per cent or 13,440 points. The index at lowest level since March 31, 2014.

"All market participants are hereby informed that due to 5 per cent decline in KSE-30 index, market halt is triggered at 12:20pm all equity and equity based derivative markets shall remain suspended for 120 minutes and shall reopen following a five minute pre-open session. All outstanding orders have been cancelled," the bourse said in a statement posted on its website.

Pakistan rupee also fell 0.7 per cent to $160.1 on Wednesday. The growing cases of coronavirus are maintaining pressure on the rupee and equity market of the country. The number of coronavirus cases crossed 1,000 with seven people declared dead due to the pandemic.

The State Bank of Pakistan on Tuesday held an emergent meeting whereby reducing the policy rate further by 150bps to 11 per cent, taking the total cut to 225bps in a span of a week as SBP sees further lacklustre demand amid COVID-9 fallout. Moreover, the Prime Minister Imran Khan also announced a fiscal stimulus package worth Rs1.2trillion or roughly $8 billion with an estimated direct relief package worth Rs0.9trillion ($6billion) aimed at low income earners and vulnerable families. The government also announced a cash flow support package for other industries estimated at Rs0.3trillion ($2.0billion). - waheedabbas@khaleejtimes.com


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