Escalating regional tensions took their toll on investor sentiment at the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) as the benchmark KSE-100 index plunged over 1,000 points during the opening few minutes of trading on Thursday.
At 10:20am, the benchmark index had recovered some of its losses to hover at 62,846.53 level, still a decrease of 720.80 points or 1.13%.
Negativity was witnessed across-the-board with index-heavy sectors including cement, chemical, commercial banks, fertilizer, oil and gas exploration companies, OMCs and power generation trading in the red.
Selling pressure comes as tensions between neighbouring Pakistan and Iran rose to spook investors, said experts.
“This morning Pakistan undertook a series of highly coordinated and specifically targeted precision military strikes against terrorist hideouts in Siestan-o-Baluchistan province of Iran,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said in a statement on Thursday morning.
“A number of terrorists were killed during the Intelligence-based operation – codenamed ‘Marg Bar Sarmachar’,” it added.
The development was Islamabad’s response after Iran conducted a strike inside Pakistani territory which Pakistan said resulted in the death of two innocent children and injured three girls.
“This violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty is completely unacceptable and can have serious consequences,” said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement early Wednesday morning.
The latest strikes add to multiple regional crises amid Israel’s aggression in Gaza and pro-Palestinian Houthis’ attacks on commercial vessels in the Red Sea.