The benchmark KSE-100 Index fell 628 points to settle below the 40,000 level for the first time since November 2020 after a one-day respite on the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX). Despite an increase in trading volume to approximately 158m shares during the session, selling pressure was maintained amid concerns about the cost of production and inflation induced by Pakistan’s economic crisis and the constant devaluation of the rupee. During the day, the KSE-100 Index dropped below the 40,000-point mark before somewhat recovering. Selling, on the other hand, has resumed following a minor recovery. As Topline Securities noted in a post-market note, the weakening of the Pakistani rupiah and the uncertainty surrounding Friday’s assembly elections were important factors in the selling pressure. On Thursday, the benchmark index ended the day at 39,831.75, down 628 points or 1.55pc from the previous day’s finish. After falling about 6pc on Thursday of last week, the index has subsequently recovered nearly all of that loss. The move coincides with a further decline in the Pakistani rupee, which closed at 226.81 versus the dollar, down Rs1.89 or 0.83pc, for the fifth consecutive day. This is now the currency’s lowest closing level, topping the one it recorded on Wednesday. The benchmark index was also weighed down by the fertilizer (100.04), banking (91.21), and oil and gas exploration industries (78.80 points). The all-share index volume rose from 141.75m on Wednesday to 157.99m on Thursday. However, the value of shares traded fell to Rs4.28b from Rs4.98b in the previous trading session. Third place went to TPL Properties with 11.88m shares and Unity Foods Limited with 10.04m shares in terms of volume. 40 stocks rose, 269 fell, and 24 remained steady in Thursday’s trading; this is a total of 333 shares exchanged.