KARACHI - The Karachi equity market closed down for a fourth consecutive day on Thursday due to investors fears over the US debt crisis. The benchmark KSE 100-share index took a sharp drop during the trading session and lost 167.48 points or 1.37 per cent to close at 12,098.05 points. The KSE 30-index drooped by 185.32 points to close at 11,502.53. Market turnover increased to 64.31m shares against 61.22m shares traded previously, while the total capitalisation amounted to Rs3,197.92b or $36.94b. Ahsan Mehanti, Director at Arif Habib Investments Limited, said that panic selling was witnessed in scrips across the board on investors fears over probable US debt default and concerns after a US panel approved bill restricting the US foreign aid and assistance to Pakistan. Foreign and institutional selling continued in the earning announcement session despite hopes for record earnings announcements, he said. Hasnain Asghar Ali, a senior analyst at Aziz Fida Husein & Co, said that tumbling regional and international bourses and pressure on local currency added severity to the local sell-off, already suffocating due to thick layer of uncertainties, wherein low turnover kept the level of panic on higher side, mainly in the high priced stocks. With buyers placed at extreme discounts, roll-over pressure magnified the selling intensity, thus pushing the benchmark into deep red by mid-day. However, day-end short covering reduced the widespread losses, emergence of cautious accumulators, both from retail and corporate circuits, did spark short covering, intra-day, he said The recovery was disallowed sustainability mainly due to presence of sellers in the stocks trading at high multiples, thus suggesting caution, consistent dividend yielders likely, to continue on the track of growth however managed to restrict intra-day losses.