Pakistan’s stocks tumble on opening after Bhutto assassination

KARACHI, Dec 31, 2007 (AFP) – Pakistan’s Karachi Stock Exchange was down 4.7 percent in early morning trading on Monday in what dealers said was one of the sharpest drops in memory. The bourse closed Thursday just hours before opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was assassinated, when an official three-day period of mourning was announced.

“It is one the biggest declines we’ve seen,” said Samiullah Tariq, an analyst with InvestCap. “The impact on the market is negative.”

The index fell more than 680 points to 14,085 after trading began.

“This is a historic fall and is reflective of the unrest in entire country,” said Nabeel Jafar, head of sales with Zafar Moti Capital Securities.

“When there is killing of political leaders and riots after that, who is going to invest in the market?” he added.