The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) witnessed a bloodbath on Thursday due to a spike in Covid-19 cases and the benchmark KSE-100 Index lost 1298 points and closed at 39,888 points. The benchmark index remained in the red throughout the day, losing two psychological limits of 41,000 and then 40,000 points. The KSE-100 registered its intraday low at 39,275.43 after losing 1,911.43 points. It closed lower by 1,298.86 points at 39,888.00. On a month-on-month basis, the benchmark index witnesses a fall of 1.63pc in its value when compared with September 2020. Among other indices, the KMI-30 Index plunged 2,201.68 points to end at 63,496.69, while the KSE All Share Index dropped 790.57 points, settling at 28,185.56. According to a daily report of Arif Habib Limited, an increase in coronavirus cases, imposition of partial lockdown, end of rollover week as well as results’ season, and global sell-off in stock and commodity markets were enough for the PSX to lose around 2,000 intraday. Selling pressure was evident across the board, particularly in exploration & production and banking stocks; price levels were seen near or at lower circuits, said the report. The overall market volumes surged from 368.42 million shares in the previous session to 541.19 million shares (+47 percent). Average traded value also increased by 34 percent, from $94.5 million to $126.9 million. Unity Foods Ltd (UNTIY -1.17 percent), Maple Leaf Cement Factory Ltd (MLCF -0.84 percent) and Pakistan International Bulk Terminal Ltd (PIBTL -5.88 percent) led the volume chart, exchanging 60.52 million, 39.11 million and 38.64 million shares, respectively. Sectors that drove the benchmark index south included banking (-245.49 points), oil & gas exploration (-198.01 points) and fertilizer (-131.36 points). Among the companies, Pak Petroleum Ltd (PPL -67.32 points), Engro Corporation Ltd (ENGRO -65.97 points) and Pakistan Oilfields Ltd (POL -65.41 points) dented the index the most. Shedding 6.75pc from its cumulative market capitalization, the refinery sector ended as session top loser, with Attock Refinery Ltd (ATRL -7.33 percent), National Refinery Ltd (NRL -6.07 percent), Pakistan Refinery Ltd (PRL -7.37 percent) and Byco Petroleum Pakistan Ltd (BYCO -6.62 percent) posting significant losses. Meanwhile, according to a PSX notification, Agha Steel Industries Limited will start trading from Monday (November 2) with an opening price of Rs32 per share. NCCPL has assigned ‘AGHA’ to the company as a security symbol. Also, GlaxoSmithKline (Pakistan) Ltd (GLAXO -3.68 percent), in a notification to the exchange, announced its intention to dispose of its “old & inactive warehouses” situated in six different locations across the country with a total carrying value of Rs83 million. On the financial side, Ghandhara twins — Ghandhara Nissan Ltd (GHNL -7.38pc) and Ghandhara Industries Ltd (GHNI -6.76pc) announced earnings per share of Rs0.04 and Rs3.37 for 1QFY21 (Rs0.27 and Rs0.32 last year); Fatima Fertilizer Company Ltd (FATIMA -7.27pc) declared an EPS of Rs1.14 for 3QFY20 (Rs1.03 in 3QFY19); while Oil and Gas Development Company Ltd (OGDC -2.59pc) posted an EPS of Rs5.45 for 1QFY21 (Rs6.35 last year).