Pakistan Stock Exchange plunges to lowest level in three years

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KARACHI  – The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) hit a three-year low on Wednesday as the KSE-100 Index, a gauge to measure market performance, dropped by 550 points.The benchmark index of the PSX closed deep in the red today, ending the day 550.65 points or 1.51% lower at 36,579 points—close to its three-year low.

This was the lowest that the benchmark KSE-100 index has closed in almost three years since May 18, 2016, when it ended the session at 36,318.21 points.

On August 27, 2018, the PSX was at 42,873. The PTI government came into power on August 18. Since then, it has dropped 6,200 points.

Market capitalisation has dropped by Rs1.2 trillion since the PTI government came into power. On August 18, 2018 it was at Rs8.7 trillion and on Wednesday it was less than Rs7.6 trillion

Market capitalization is the market value of a publicly traded company’s outstanding shares.

According to a report titled ‘World Economic Outlook 2019’ issued by the IMF on Tuesday, economic development would slow down and unemployment would increase in Pakistan in 2019.

It said that the projected GDP growth rate of the country would remain 2.9 percent this year, while it would be 2.8 percent the next year, as compared to 5.2 percent in 2018.

The IMF said that the expected budget deficit of the country is likely to be 7.2 percent, which is feared to increase next year. It said inflation in Pakistan would remain 7.6 percent, despite a projected 6 percent.

The current account deficit of the country would remain 5.2 percent this year and 4.3 percent next year, the report said. Unemployment would remain 6.2 percent in the current year, while it would increase to 6.2 percent next year, the IMF projected.

The global lender, in its report, said that Pakistan needs to take measures to bring improvement in economic indicators.

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