The stock market snapped a four-session winning streak on Thursday and dived over 700 points after a host of negative triggers, coupled with worries over monetary policy announcement, sparked across-the-board selling.

Investor sentiment took a hit after the daily tally of Covid-19 cases soared beyond expectations and sparked fears of yet another lockdown, which would be detrimental for the businesses and economy.

Moreover, investors remained cautious ahead of the monetary policy announcement due on Friday. Though the market anticipated a status quo in the benchmark policy rate, the participants still offloaded their holdings in a bid to play safe in case of a surprise change in the rate.

In addition, the investors sold their stockholdings in the wake of a prolonged bull-run at the bourse as a correction was expected sooner or later.

Earlier, trading began on a positive note and the KSE-100 index recorded gains until midday. The decline began in the second half of the session as concerns over the monetary policy announcement weighed on investor mind.

The drop accelerated in final hours, pushing the index below the 45,000-point mark.

At close, the benchmark KSE-100 index recorded a decrease of 726.22 points, or 1.6%, to settle at 44,724.09 points.

In comments to The Express Tribune, Mafa Capital CEO Adnan Agar said that the market dived on the back of profit-booking by investors. “A correction was expected keeping in view the sustained rise of the stock market over the past few sessions,” he said.