The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) on Monday experienced a heavy sell-off as the benchmark KSE 100 Index declined by 2.17 percent or 714 points to close at 32,958.Trading opened on a negative note and the index continued to slide throughout the session. The market’s opening at 33,672.49 points remained the day’s high. It touched a day’s low at 32,896 points near the end of the session.In all, around 69 million shares worth Rs 2.36 billion were traded, with 247 of the 292 active scrips declining in value, while only 35 advanced and 10 remained unchanged. Maple Leaf Cement Factory Limited (MLCF) remained the volume leader with 5.5 million shares traded. Its shares shed 1.10pc of their value. TRG Pakistan Limited (TRG) and K-Electric Limited (KEL) followed suit with 5.3m and 4.5m shares, declining 1pc and 0.19pc, respectively.Analyst Mohammad Faizan said in a statement, “The market opened on a negative note in continuation of Friday’s close and kept falling the whole day in expectation of an interest rate hike in the monetary policy statement…” “Market participation for the 100 Index increased to 52m shares from 43m shares in the previous session – posting a 20pc increase on a day-on-day basis.”Another analyst, Shunker Talreja, noted that the market had now reached a 39-month low. He held the expected hike in the upcoming policy statement, along with an economic slowdown and monetary tightening responsible for the bloodbath. He noted that in case of a hike in interest rate, investors rush to fixed income investments like savings certificates, etc. “This is the reason behind the meltdown,” he added.