The stock market endured a battering on Monday as the KSE-100 index nose-dived over 1,000 points on the back of soaring Covid-19 cases across the country coupled with anticipation of stringent measures of the government in wake of resumption of IMF program.

Alpha Beta Core CEO Khurram Schehzad said that the plunge reflected investors’ concerns over worsening of the Covid crisis in Pakistan.

“In the past few days, Punjab has been worst hit from the calamity and market participants are now expecting a lockdown in the province,” he said. “Since Punjab contributes significantly to the economy, a lockdown will not bode well for the market and Pakistan as a whole.”

The province reported 2,823 cases of fresh infections on Sunday which raised alarms among major sectors of the economy as well as the stock market.

Endorsing his views, MAFA Capital CEO Adnan Agar said skyrocketing Covid infections and looming fear of lockdown in Punjab dented investor sentiments at the bourse on Monday.

“Another factor fuelling the decline is the approval of presidential ordinance which will end tax exemptions for major sectors of the economy,” he said. “Such a move is not in favour of the market hence a fall is being witnessed.”

At 1:57 PM, the KSE-100 was trading at 44,599.72 after plunge of 921.91 points or 2.03%.