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Stocks shrug off positive economic outlook

December 31, 2008

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KARACHI, Dec 30: Stocks on Tuesday suffered fresh widespread fall across-the-board on near-panic selling followed by reports of margin calls by the banks on some of the brokers who failed to settle their outstanding dues on some of the counters. The KSE 100-share index shed another 257.29 points or 4.09 per cent at 6,037.38.

An idea of hasty selling sometimes assuming the proportion of panic may well be had from the fact that the turnover figure swelled to 119m shares from the previous about 62m shares as blue chips again fell like the house of cards.

Analysts prediction that the new year opening could be on the higher side now appears to be a remote possibility as investors would await de-escalating of tension between Pakistan and India amid hopes that the war may not be around before resuming new year buying.There was, therefore, no trace of the buying euphoria witnessed during the last couple of sessions amid reports of settlement of CFS MK-II payment issue and some other positive developments on the corporate front as a section of investors hastened to take profit at the available margins, analysts said.

Apart from positive developments on the market bailout package of Rs20 billion, the signing of an agreement to set up a state enterprise fund, by the NIT, EOBI, State Life Insurance and National Bank and higher growth perceptions by the central bank should have lured investors back in the market, but they opted to take profits at the current levels, analyst Ahsan Mehanti said.

However, the bulk of selling again originated from the foreign investors in oil, banking and some other sectors further dampening the investor confidence, analyst Hasnain Asghar Ali observes.

The KSE 30-index, All Share index and KMI fell respectively by 312.50 points (5.20pc), 180.68 (3.85pc) and 355.95 (4.91pc) at 5,701.89, 4,509.40 and 6,894.83 points.

Minus signs again dominated the list under the lead of Adamjee Insurance, New Jubilee Insurance, National Refinery, Attock Petroleum, PSO, Pakistan Oilfields, Pakistan Petroleum, which were further marked down by Rs5.64 to Rs8.

Other leading shares which followed suit were led by Unilever Pakistan, off Rs99.63, Indus Motors, Engro Chemical, Mari Gas, BOC Pakistan, Clariant Pakistan, Tri-Pack Films and PECO, which suffered fall ranging from Rs5.34 to Rs10.70.

Some of the shares managed to put on fresh gains under the lead of Huffaz Pipe and Ismail Industries, up by Rs1.49 and Rs2.77, followed by Elite Modaraba, Invest Securities, Noon Sugar, Cherat Cement and MACPAC Pakistan, up by 25 to 98 paisa.

Out of 203 actives, 173 shares fell, while 26 rose, with four holding onto their last levels.

Pak PTA led the list of actives, lower 65 paisa at Rs1.25 on 24m shares followed by TRG Pakistan, easy by 67 paisa at Rs1.58 on 22m shares, Sui Southern Gas, off 96 paisa at Rs11.07 on 11m shares, NIB Bank, lower by 73 paisa at Rs4.26 on 10m shares, Pakistan Premier Fund, 94 paisa at Rs1.59 on 7m shares, Hub-Power, off 99 paisa at Rs13.56 on 5m shares, and PICIC Fund, easy 84 paisa at Rs1.63 on 4m shares.

Zeal Pak Cement followed them, easy by eight paisa at Rs0.50 on 4m shares, Bosicor Pakistan, off 96 paisa at Rs4.07 on 3m shares and Dewan Salman, lower by 27 paisa at Rs1.23 on 2m shares.

FORWARD COUNTER: Prices on this counter maintained their downward drift on renewed selling but there was no business in any of the shares.Allied Bank was marked down by Rs1.79 at Rs33.49, Bank of Punjab was off Rs1.03 at Rs14.43, Fauji Fertiliser, off Rs3.11 at Rs58.03 and Habib Bank fell by Rs4.29 at Rs80.07 but without any deal.

DEFAULTER COMPANIES: Japan Power led the list of actives on this counter, lower 22 paisa at Rs1.65 on 0.358m shares followed by Unity Modaraba, easy by three paisa at Rs0.29 on 34,000 shares, Mukhtar Textiles, up 11 paisa at Rs0.31 on 21,500 shares, Quice Foods, lower by 18 paisa at Rs1.30 on 14,500 shares.

Some others were modestly traded mostly on the lower side under the lead of National Asset Leasing, easy by two paisa at Rs0.35 on 29,500 shares, while Invest Bank rose by nine paisa at Rs1.79 on 11,500 shares.