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Pakistani stocks tumble amid political uncertainty, fears of violence

Pakistani stocks tumble amid political uncertainty, fears of violence

Pakistani stocks tumbled in early trading Monday as an uncertain political outlook after the assassination of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto triggered a selling spree.
The Karachi Stock Exchange's benchmark 100-share index plunged 4.7 percent shortly after trade opened. The exchange had been closed for a three-day period of national mourning declared after Bhutto's death Thursday.
At midmorning, the KSE index was at 14,094.38, down 677.7 points. If the benchmark measure fails to reverse course before the end of trading, it will register its biggest single-day fall in points and percentage.
Atif Malik, an analyst at J.S. Global Securities, said shares could recover in coming days if opposition parties reach an accord on holding parliamentary elections that had been set for Jan. 8. It is not yet known if the government will postpone the election.
Many international markets fell last week after Bhutto was killed at a campaign rally, adding to global uncertainty about the tense situation in Pakistan. The country also suffered several days of unrest that including rioting and looting in many cities.
Analysts have said Pakistan's economy was not expected to suffer long-term effects as the country is no stranger to turmoil and has seen the assassinations of many previous leaders. The country's economy was expected to grow about 7 percent for the fiscal year ending in mid-2008.
Before Monday's fall, Pakistan's stock market had been up about 47 percent for 2007.


Updated : 2020-12-02 16:14 GMT+08:00