Pakistan Stock Exchange faces a $2 billion blow

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Pakistan Stock Exchange faces a $2 billion blow

*ISLAMABAD - **Pakistan Stock Exchange faces a $2 billion blow in three days.*

*The Pakistan Stock Exchange benchmark KSE-100 index fell to its lowest level in three months at noon on Wednesday, wiping out $2 billion (Rs300 billion) worth of shareholders’ equity.*

Panicked over fresh reports of coronavirus’s spread into other countries, investors resorted to selling, which dragged the KSE-100 index, a gauge to measure market performance, down 1.8% before noon. It was hovering at 38,250 points, a level last seen in November 2019.

After fresh reports of rising global cases of coronavirus hit the markets on Monday, investors panicked and turned to safer havens, such as gold.

The spillover effects could be seen in markets across the globe. International oil prices fell by $10 a barrel on the back of a suppressed demand as tourism industry came to a halt.

Milan’s main index was down 4% after Italy witnessed Europe’s worst outbreak of the deadly virus. Pakistan’s stock market was down 2.8%.

The negative news continued to dominate investors’ sentiment this week. Dow Jones Industrial Average index, which tracks performance of 30 large companies listed in stock markets across the United States, was down 3% on Wednesday, taking the three-day fall to 7%.

The PSX has shed 5% of its value since Friday over similar concerns, but market analysts say the timing of the coronavirus fallout, which has caused global uncertainty, couldn’t be worse.

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