Karachi shares slump 1419 points as rout continues in Asian markets

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KARACHI, Aug 24: Karachi shares prices slumped around four percent Monday as massive losses in regional markets triggered panic selling by foreign and local investors. In early morning session, the benchmark Karachi Stock Exchange 100-share index was trading at 33,169.24 points down 1419.43points, or 4 percent. Over 106 million shares changed hands. “There is significant selling pressure from foreign investors because of rout we have seen in the regional Asian markets,” said a senior dealer. On Monday, Asian stocks slumped to 3-year lows as a slump in Chinese equities gathered pace, hastening an exodus from riskier assets as fears of a China-led global economic slowdown churned world markets. A 2.6 percent fall in S&P 500 mini futures to a 10-month trough during Asian trading hours suggested the falls could continue later in the global session. India’s stock markets also slumped more than 3 percent on Monday, tracking big falls in their Asian counterparts as a rout in Chinese equities sparked widespread unrest in global financial markets. The BSE Sensex fell 3.97 percent while the broader Nifty was down 3.95 percent at 10:31 a.m. That compared with a 4.66 percent fall in the MSCI Asia-Pacific index of shares excluding Japan. Safe-haven government bonds and the yen rallied on the widespread unrest in the financial markets, set in motion nearly two weeks ago when China sharply devalued the yuan and stoked concerns about the state of its economy. The Karachi stock market’s key index has declined over 6 percent since Thursday.

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