Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) struggled to sustain previous session’s gains, as selling pressure weighed down benchmark kse-100 on Wednesday, by 138 points by the closing bell to close at 40,514.67 index level. The market discounted the hopes built upon the announcement made by U.S Company Moderna, of a promising new vaccine that protects against Covid-19 is nearly 95% effective. The uncertainty surrounding, rising cases of Covid-19 in the country and subsequent fears of another lockdown dampened investors’ sentiments. Moreover, absence of fresh economic triggers and deprecation of Pakistan Rupee extended the dry spell of market volume. On Wednesday, the rupee snapped almost two-month winning streak, as an uptick in the dollar demand for import payments weighed on the domestic currency. Currency dealers said, the rupee came under renowned pressure despite surge in the foreign direct investment in Pakistan and rally in the global stocks; following the announcement of 95 percent affectivity of a vaccine by an American company Moderna in protecting people from the potentially-deadly infection. During the session, investors also stayed muted amid mounting speculation, ahead of the monetary policy announcement by the state bank of Pakistan (SBP) due next week, which drove investors to switch portfolio positions. Major selling pressure was witnessed in Banking, exploration & production and cement stocks witnessed not only dipped on concerns regarding spread of coronavirus as well as resumption of IMF package, which requires an upward adjustment in electricity tariff as well as curtailment of subsidies. At kse-100, the index volumes decreased from 79.7 million shares recorded in the previous session to 78.6 million shares, while the overall market volumes were recorded at around 145.9 million shares, decreasing from the previous session’s volumes of 150.34 million shares. The volume chart was led by TRG Pakistan Limited followed by Unity Foods Limited and Soneri Bank Limited. The scrips exchanged 11.95 million, 8.83 million and 6.44 million shares, respectively. Sectors that dented the index were Oil & Gas Exploration Companies with 52 points, Cement with 24 points, Oil & Gas Marketing Companies with 17 points, Fertilizer with 16 points and Food & Personal Care Products with 10 points. Among the scrrips, most points taken off the index was by Habib Bank Limited which stripped the index of 20 points followed by Pakistan Petroleum Limited with 19 points, Engro Corporation Limited with 18 points, Pakistan State Oil with 14 points and Pakistan Oilfields Limited with 14 points. However, the sectors which continued to resist the pressure to the index were Engineering with 10 points, Technology & Communication with 9 points and Textile Spinning with 2 points. Among the scrips, most points added to the index was by Muslim Commercial Bank which contributed 15 points followed by TRG Pakistan Limited with 13 points, International Steels Limited with 8 points, Meezan Bank Limited with 6 points and Fauji Fertilizer Company Limited with 5 points. Global Markets: Covid-19 vaccine lifts stocks Global stocks advanced on Wednesday as investors weigh up positive coronavirus vaccine announcements and the ongoing spread of the virus. In Asia, Investors remained cautious despite vaccine hopes, as coronavirus cases continued to surge. However, major regional markets remained positive throughout the day, with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng leading the gains, as the index traded 0.49% higher. Following the trend, South Korea’s Kospi index and Chinese benchmark Shanghai composite also edged up, advancing 0.26% and 0.22% respectively. However, Japan’s stocks bumped the trend, which weighed down benchmark index Nikkei 225 by 1.10% to close at 25,728.14.The index was dragged down by auto stocks as, automakers – among the country’s key exports – fell across the board. Mitsubishi Motor dropped almost 5%, Honda declined 3.78%, while Toyota slipped 1.61%. Moreover, index heavyweight SoftBank shares slipped 0.91%, after company’s CEO Masayoshi Son said he aggressively sold assets this year to prepare for a “worst case scenario” in which the world shuts down during a second wave of coronavirus outbreaks. European stocks also advanced following Covid-19 vaccine led rally. The pan-European Stoxx 600 edged 0.4% higher by mid-afternoon, with oil and gas stocks adding 1% to lead gains as most sectors and major bourses inched into positive territory following a muted morning’s trade. Among the regional’s major markets, CAC-40 in France led the gains and added 0.58%, followed by UK;s FTSE-100 and Germany’s DAX, each added 0.45%. In U.S, Wall Street rose slightly on Wednesday boosted by a surge in Boeing stocks, while investors digested more positive news on Covdi-19 vaccine front. During the early trading hours, the 30-stock industrial average Dow Jones gained 86 points in the volatile session, while the S&P 500 traded near the flat line. The tech heavy Nasdaq Composite, however fell 0.2% as tech stocks led by Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Alphabet all came under pressure. U.S stocks are witnessing a strong month on the back of positive developments about Covid-19 vaccines.