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KSE stocks touch 8 1/2-year high

KARACHI (December 10 2002) : The Karachi Stock Exchange on the first day after Eid holidays was in a jubilant mood and reached the eight-and-a-half-year high, touching 2,400 points as support from financial institutions and leading brokerage houses was seen in fuel, energy and banking stocks.

The KSE-100 index recorded an unprecedented rise of 55.23 points, or 2.36 percent, to 2,400.34 points, from 2,345.11 points of Wednesday. The KSE-100 index had last attained the figure of 2,400.40 points on May 5, 1994.

The index was over eight-and-a-half-year level as participation from the local investors was witnessed across the board and even the second tier stocks gathered momentum.

A leading analyst said that the market was in a jubilant mood following the announcement of the appointment of Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh as adviser to prime minister on privatisation and investment.

He was of the opinion that the appointment would accelerate the pace of privatisation and soon more state-controlled companies would be on sale. The assurance from Shaukat Aziz, Prime Minister's Adviser on Finance, had also sparked a rally in the privatisation-related stocks, which helped the bulls to take control of the proceedings.

However, he cautioned small investors that it was not the best time to enter the market, because the index was at the optimum level, and correction might take place in any session.

Raheel Moosani of Moosani Securities said that the index reached 2,400 point when buoyed by the arrival of fresh funds from institutions and punters.

SEMF held firm after strong fundamentals catapulted pivotal to higher levels. Consequently, pivotal regained its composure after weeks of massive selling that hampered its share value. Admajee Insurance and Nishat Mills also remained in the spotlight as the speculative buying forced the pivotal to close the day at upper circuit breaker limit.

Trendsetter like PSO, Hubco and PTCL along with other major blue chips and sideboard items remained positively inspired by institutional interest.

Recent rallies' uncertainty that dogged share prices of the pivotal in recent weeks and delivered an environment where investors were encouraged to switch out of cash and into equities.

Zubair Ellahi of KAB Securities said that the index had closed at 100 months high whereas yield seeking fresh investment was still floating around. The individual stock prices have reached the levels where even old stock holdings are exhibiting gains. The current rates exhibit good exit for old holdings whereas fresh investors need to wait for more rational levels.

Hasnain Asghar of Aziz Fidahusein said that the bulls were on fire. The ongoing economic reforms and calm on political front allowed the fund managers to accumulate hot cakes as reflected by heavy activity in the high yield speculative stocks.

Technically, the market needs some consolidation around 2,385-2,390 to close the year at the highest levels. Buying is expected to continue in fertiliser, power and telecom sectors.

Hubco on a turnover of 57.221 million shares gained 50 paisa to Rs 29.75; PTCL on a volume of 47.866 million shares rose 80 paisa to Rs 24.05; FFC Jordan closed at Rs 9.10, i.e. higher by 60 paisa on business of 31.870 million shares; PSO moved up to Rs 185.40 from Rs 181 on trading of 13.145 million shares; and Nishat Mills posted an increment of Rs 1.50 to Rs 18.60 on total deals of 13.145 million shares.

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