Pakistan Stock Exchange retreated on the first trading day of the week after it recovered on Friday, last week amid after total foreign investment in debt securities jumped to $2.257 billion after T-bills worth $536 million were bought by foreign investors during the latest auction. Benchmark KSE-100 was dragged down by uncertainty ahead of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) decision as a high-level Pakistani delegation reached Beijing for important three-day face-to-face talks with the global money-laundering watchdog Working Group that would start on January 21. The Pakistani delegation is headed by Minister for Economic Affairs Division Hamad Azhar and comprises representatives of National Counter Terrorism Authority (Nacta), Foreign Ministry, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Customs, Interior Ministry and Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU).If Pakistan does not come out of the ‘grey list’, it is expected to win a ‘largely-compliant’ rating from the FATF regarding the implementation of 27 recommendations given in its Action Plan that can help it acquire more time from the watchdog for full compliance. The KSE-100 Index, which opened the day above 43,000 points, slid to its intraday low at 42,632.58 after paring 535.19 points. It ended lower by 420.14 points at 42,747.63. The KMI 30-Index declined by 1,037.56 points to close at 69,238.86, while the KSE All Share Index fell by 189.85 points, closing at 29,808.60. Out of the total traded shares, 70 advanced while 242 declined. The volume table was led by Engro Fertilizer Limited , TRG Pakistan Limited and The Bank of Punjab exchanging 15.27 million, 11.90 million and 11.71 million shares, respectively. Sectors that impeded the index to climb include Commercial Banks shedding 129 points, Fertilizer with 78 points, Cement with 50 points, Investment Banks with 37 points and Oil & Gas Marketing Companies with 25 points. Among the companies the most points taken off the index was by Engro Corporation Limited which stripped the index of 85 points followed by Engro Fertilizers Limited with 55 points, United Bank Limited with 38 points, Habib Bank Limited with 37 points and Dawood Hercules Corporation Limited with 33 points. During the entire trading session the companies which pared early losses include prop up the index slightly includes Fauji Fertilizer Company Limited which contributed 56 points followed by Mari Petroleum Company Limited with 44 points, Colgate-Palmolive (Pakistan) Limited with 11 points, Bank Alfalah Limited with 8 points and Fauji Fertilizer Bin Qasim Limited with 8 points. Meanwhile, Hosiery manufacturers and exporters on raised concerns over delay in some payments under the FBR’s Fully Automated Sales Tax e-Refund System (FASTER) without any substantive reason, urging the government to expedite the process. However, they hailed the government for its overall speedy payments to the exporters’ ST refund claims [within 72 hours]. Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers & Exporters Association (PHMA) Vice Chairman Shafiq Butt said that a mechanism should be finalized to find out the reasons behind deferring up to 25 per cent payment of exporters’ refunds under FASTER. “The automated refund system should point out the reason as to why it’s not making full payments and deferring 10pc to 25pc payment of exporters while their documents are complete.” In Asia: Most of the markets in the region surged after People’s Bank of China kept the loan prime rate (LPR) unchanged. But the announcement dragged down Hang Seng index in Hong Kong which slipped 0.90% after AIA insurer plunged nearly 1%. Mainland Chinese stocks saw gains on the day, with the Shanghai composite up 0.66% to about 3,095.79 while the Shenzhen composite was 1.311% higher at around 1,829.95.Shares of Chinese drugmakers and facial mask firms also surged amid concerns over a coronavirus outbreak in the country. Jiangsu Sihuan Bioengineering and Shandong Lukang Pharmaceutical saw their stock surge by about 10%, their daily movement limit. Meanwhile, facial mask maker Shanghai Dragon also soared around 10%. In South Korea Kospi added 0.54% to close at 2,262.64 as shares of industry heavyweight Samsung Electronics jumped 1.79% after the firm announced some leadership changes. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.18% to close at 24,083.51 despite shares of index heavyweight Fast Retailing falling 1.58%. The benchmark brent crude oil surge nearly one per cent to close 0.88% higher at $65.41/ barrel after two large crude production bases in Libya began shutting down following a military blockade, setting the stage for crude flows from the significant energy exporter to be cut to a trickle. Oil prices are likely to remain capped, given the market’s reactive nature to geopolitical risk after the oil prices surged nearly 5% following U.S – Iran military confrontation after U.S airstrikes killed top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani.