KARACHI  - Stock market slumped lowest level for the fourth consecutive day closing below the key 30,000 level on Friday. The benchmark KSE-100 lost 721 points or 2.3pc to close at 29,957.83 points.

Yesterday’s bloodbath spread into today’s market as the day ended at 29,958 points, down by 2.4pc. Constant foreign selling coupled with local fund selling facilitated the market in breaking the 30,000 psychological barriers. Overall sentiment remained negative as the cements, oil & gas, commercial banks and chemicals sector saw strong selling, ending largely in the red, observed analyst Arhum Ghous.

Even improvement in WTI and Brent Oil prices, on the back of Saudi-Yemen war, failed to stimulate the Oil & Gas sector in specific. Fatima announced its results with the EPS standing at Rs4.41 in line with market expectations, however announced a lower-than-expected dividend of Rs2.75, as the script ended at Rs37.25, down by 1.8pc. Amongst scripts that witnessed strong volumes, PAEL, Engro, MLCF, DGKC, Efoods, FFC saw strong selling as all scripts ended 3.2pc, 3.7pc, 4.1pc, 4.8pc, 4.7pc and 4.2pc lower, respectively, the analyst added. Stock closes to 6 month lows as fears grips on foreign selling in emerging markets and provincial political uncertainty ahead of quarter end close at KSE.

 Stocks fell across the board on minor correction in crude prices ignoring record foreign exchange reserve data, Moody’s upgrade on bond ratings to positive and SBP rate cut last week to 13 year lows, commented analyst Ahsan Mehanti. There were gossips of selling by leveraged investors to meet their margin calls. Today was also the last day of futures rollover adding pressure to the steep market fall. Last week market came down 3.4pc. This was the fifth consecutive week of negative closing and the index has decreased by 12pc in these 5 weeks.  From its peak the Index is now down 14pc, loosing $11.6b in market capitalisation. Many leading stocks like DGKC, MLCF, NBP and FFBL closed at 5pc limit down today. End of rollover week and commencement of March result season may provide some stability to the market in coming weeks, stated Samar Iqbal at Topline Securities. Volumes declined by 18pc to 213m shares (Rs10b/ $102m), compared to yesterday’s volume of 258m shares (Rs12.7b/ $124m).