KARACHI, May 23: The bulls were barred from charging forward on Wednesday, as the KSE-100 index pulled back by 109.26 points. The index, however, was able to stay above the 14,000 level even at its day’s lows and closing at 14,032.82 points.

Analysts said that after the big leap of 266 points a day earlier, it was only natural that punters indulged in profit-taking. That and the sharp fall in Asian and European markets, haunted by the eurozone debt debacle were thought to be the major reasons for the KSE retreat.

Foreign investors were, however, seen to have kept their sangfroid. Like the last two days, overseas investors were net buyers of Pakistani equity worth $0.76 million on Wednesday, which though the tiny amount, gave confidence to investors about the foreign fund managers’ penchant for Pakistani stocks on the basis of low valuations compared to regional markets and sweetened by higher returns.

Ahsan Mehanti at Arif Habib Corp stated that the stocks closed lower due to profit-taking across the board.

Investors preferred to take a cautious buying stance on concerns over the law and order situation in the city and uncertainty over federal budget announcements for corporate sector, due early next month.

Samar Iqbal, dealer at Topline Securities admitted that the investors in local bourse remained cautious due to volatility in global markets.

Hasnain Asghar Ali at Invisor Securities commented that the deterioration in law and order situation in the city disallowed the technical recovery to complete the cycle and the benchmark index sank in red zone due to low volume price erosion in the frontline stocks during early trade.

Growth was, however, expected to continue in selective stocks depending on earnings and dividends despite economic, financial, political and geo-political threats.

Analyst thought that the cut in conditional aid to Pakistan by US Senate would add to the country’s economic and financial woes, already struggling to tide over circular debts and rising fiscal deficit.

Also the loss of value of rupee mainly due to maturity of installment payment to IMF would continue to keep the external front vulnerable. However, due to below potential trade and valuation at the local equity market, approval of the CGT Ordinance by the National Assembly, most likely during the budget session may allow the values to consolidate.

The KSE-30 index declined by 79.40 points to 12,187.63 points and market capitalisation increased by Rs36 billion to Rs3.585 trillion. Volume of business at 176 million shares fell only slightly short of the 179 million shares traded the earlier day.

UniLever Food fell by Rs90 to Rs3000 and UniLever Pak also stood lower by Rs86.71 to Rs7113.29. Among the major gainers were Bata (Pak) up by Rs15.39 to Rs636.36 and Mitchell’s Fruit higher by Rs11.70 to Rs248.46.

The list of 10 most active scrips saw Bank Alfalah at the top with trading in 17m shares up by 53 paisa to Rs17.77. It was followed by PTCL down 20 paisa to Rs15.82 on 16m shares, D.G. Khan Cement conceded 55 paisa to Rs41.37 on 15m shares, the long dormant TRG Pakistan gained 68 paisa to Rs4.22 on 15m shares and Jah Sidd Co was shaved off 42 paisa to Rs16.49 on 12m shares.

Engro Corporation continued climb, adding Rs1.45 to Rs106.64 on 11m shares, Engro Foods, however, fell by Rs2.59 to Rs66.24 on 7m shares, Pak Elektron was up by 53 paisa to Rs6.33 on 6m shares, Hub Power Company added 27 paisa to Rs39.20 on 5m shares and Fatima Fertiliser was slightly trimmed by 5 paisa to Rs24.63 on 5m shares.

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