Stocks succumbed to selling pressure on the first trading day of the week, as investors’ sentiments dwindled at Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX), amid rising Covid-19 cases and Political noise. On Monday, the benchmark kse-100 clocked at 42,115.31 index level, after it lost 91.69 points by the closing bell. On Monday, the market was coming off of an impressive performance in the previous week, during which the kse-100 rallied 1400 points to close at 42,207 index level- its highest values since Sep 18, 2020. However, on Monday, investors took into account fast spreading Covid-19 cases and commotion on the political front. Market participants largely remained shy during the session, as rising covid-19 cases threatens to expand government’s lockdown measures, which may halt business activity in the country. The market concerns mounted after National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC)revealedthat the national positivity rate has been recorded at 9.71 per cent as Covid-19 cases across the country continue to soar. According to NCOC data on Monday, over the last 24 hours, 3,795 cases have been reported in the country- the highest since July 2. Accelerating political ruckus also led investors to book profit on their gains during the day, as equity investors are closely monitoring the developments surroundingopposition led Pakistan democratic Movement (PDM)’s mounting pressure on the government. PDM has held series of mass public rallies in the previous months, andhas also vowed to go ahead with the Lahore public meeting scheduled for Dec 13 despite the government warning of legal action. Meanwhile, market is speculating a further surge in uncertainty in the following weeks after PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz’s threat on Monday, to announce big decisions in the upcoming Lahore rally on December 13. During the session, the kse-100 index remained range bound after opening on a positive note. The index touched its intraday high at 42,321.37 after gaining 114.37 points, but later reversing its gains to touch intraday low at 42,047.00 after losing 160.00 points. The volume at Kse-100 index touched $191.15 million, during the session, while the over-all market volumes decreased from 427.9 million shares in the previous session to 380.5 million shares. The volume chart was led by TRG Pakistan Limited followed by Unity Foods Limited and Ghani Global Holdings Right Shares. The scrips exchanged 41.31 million, 33.26 million and 18.04 million shares, respectively. Sectors, which weighed down the index, were Oil & Gas Exploration Companies with 54 points, Cement with 26 points, Oil & Gas Marketing Companies with 14 points, Commercial Banks with 12 points and Power Generation & Distribution with 12 points. Among the scrips, the most points taken off the index was by Oil &Gas Development Company Limited which stripped the index of 27 points followed by Pakistan Petroleum Limited with 25 points, Muslim Commercial Bank with 15 points, Dawood Hercules Corporation Limited with 10 points and Lucky Cement Limited with 10 points. However, sectors which offset the selling pressure were Technology & Communication with 19 points, Insurance with 14 points, Pharmaceuticals with 8 points, Vanaspati& Allied Industries with 6 points and Food & Personal Care Products with 5 points.Among the scrips, the most points added to the index was by TRG Pakistan Limited which contributed 16 points followed by Adamjee Insurance Company Limited with 13 points, Bank al Habib Limited with 12 points,Nestle Pakistan Limited with 9 points and Engro Polymer & Chemicals Limited with 7 points. Global Markets: Surging Covid-19 cases dampens sentiments Global stock markets partially retreated on Monday, as resurgence of Covid-19 increases concerns of a possible halt in economic activity across the globe, which is already reeling off of from the previous global lockdown measures. Most of the Asian stock markets traded lower, as investors struggled for a clear direction. Monday’s dismal performance followed last week’s improved investor sentiments owing to coronavirus vaccine rollouts and U.S. stimulus hopes, which fueled a record-setting session Friday on Wall Street. During the day, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng led the regional losses, as the index fell 1.25% in late-afternoon trade. Chinese stocks also followed the trend and edged lower during the day, weighing down benchmark index Shanghai composite by 0.81% to 3,416.60 while Japan’s Nikkei 225 also declined 0.76% to 26,547.44. However, South Korea’s Kospiindex bucked up the trend and retraced earlier losses to climb 0.51% to 2,745.44. European stocks also booked losses during the day as market focus in the region centered on a last-ditch effort between the U.K. and EU to reach a post-Brexit trade deal. During the day, the pan-European Stoxx 600 index traded 0.5% lower, with the majority of sectors in negative territory apart from health care and chemicals. Among the major markets, CAC-40 in France and Germany’s DAX booked losses during the day, and closed in a negative territory. However, UK’s FTSE-100resisited the pressure, and closed marginally higher. In the U.S, Wall Street also treaded cautiously following a record-setting session as market concerns mount over rising coronavirus cases and uncertainty over additional fiscal aid. During the early trading hours, the 30-stock Dow jones industrial average traded 116 points lower, while the S&P 500 dipped 0.2%. The tech heavy Nasdaq Composite, however, rose 0.4% and hit a fresh record high. Among the major movers and shakers, which decided the course of the markets, Chevron and Intel were the worst-performing Dow stocks, while the energy sector led the S&P 500 lower. The Nasdaq was lifted by the rally in Facebook, Apple, Netflix and Tesla stocks.