The Pakistan Stock Exchange slipped by 1,000 points, or three percent, to close at 32,650 on Tuesday as traders continued to face uncertainty amid the novel coronavirus health crisis. Bears held the ground as the KSE 100 Index endured another round of battering. The sell-off intensified despite global efforts to cushion the blow to the economy from the pandemic. Investors at the local bourse pinned hopes on a substantial easing of the monetary policy by the State Bank of Pakistan due later in the day. Market participants expected a rate cut of a minimum 100 basis points (bps) with a few research houses anticipating a reduction of as much as 300 bps along with several liquidity measures. Despite a brief stay in the green, the KSE-100 failed to make any further gains and succumbed to selling pressure, sparked by bears in the global equity markets. Although the index recovered from a dip of around 1,200 points, it still closed over 1,000 points down, falling below the significant 33,000 barrier. At close, the benchmark KSE-100 index recorded a decrease of 1,067.98 points, or 3.17%, to settle at 32,616.93. The US Federal Reserve had stunned investors with another emergency rate cut on Sunday, prompting other central banks to ease monetary policy in the biggest coordinated response since the global financial crisis more than a decade ago. Investors, however, were worried that many had used up their ammunition and that more draconian restrictions on personal movement were necessary to contain the global coronavirus outbreak. World share markets and oil prices struggled on Tuesday after Wall Street’s worst one-day rout since the Black Monday crash of 1987. There was a broad consensus that the disease, which had wiped trillions off market valuations, would cause a global recession. The Philippines shut down its stock market as the country went into lockdown and the bourse would be closed until further notice. After an early advance, Asian markets swung in and out of positive territory through the day. Topline Securities Research Director Syed Atif Zafar reportedly said that the plunge in local stock market came due to a gloomy global economic outlook. “As all major international markets are falling, the KSE-100 index is following the trend,” he said. “This time around, there seems to be no respite due to prevailing uncertainty.” He added that one after another different countries were imposing the lockdown and the situation could extend to Pakistan as well, hence, sentiment at the local bourse remained weak over anticipation of further spread of the coronavirus. Moving on to the monetary policy, which was announced after the stock market’s closure, the research director said there was massive optimism in the market as investors were expecting a rate cut of 200-300 basis points. In addition to that, market participants also expected the State Bank of Pakistan to unveil extraordinary measures to counter the impact of coronavirus on Pakistan’s economy. “We are anticipating the central bank will announce liquidity measures in this regard,” the analyst concluded. Arif Habib Limited Head of Research Samiullah Tariq also pointed out that the market’s fall was due to the impact of coronavirus on domestic and global economies. A statement from Arif Habib Limited pointed out that the KSE-100 lost 3,444 points in the past two trading sessions. “KSE-100 index declined by 3.17% (down 1,068 points) and closed at 32,617 on Tuesday,” it said. “During the last two consecutive sessions, the KSE-100 declined by 3,444 points (down 9.55%), which is the highest two-day decline in history.” Overall, trading volumes increased to 240.4 million shares compared with Monday’s tally of 215.4 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs11.3 billion. Shares of 355 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 86 stocks closed higher, 251 declined and 18 remained unchanged. The Bank of Punjab was the volume leader with 24.6 million shares, losing Rs0.6 to close at Rs8.5. It was followed by Pioneer Cement with 20.1 million shares, losing Rs2.94 to close at Rs36.37 and Maple Leaf Cement with 15.5 million shares, losing Rs0.18 to close at Rs25.34. Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs890.6 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.