KSE index settles at all-time high, volume sets new record

KARACHI (December 28 2002) : Equities on the Karachi Stock Exchange, after a strong tussle, reached the all-time high of 2661.38 points on Friday where volume set another record, surpassing Thursday's business, as support from financial institutions was well evident in the trend setters of the market.

The KSE-100 index reached an all-time high of 2661.38 points surpassing the previous best of 2661.31 points attained on March 22, 1994.

The volume also made new record high as 631.746 million shares changed hands against 617.647 million shares of Thursday.

The index, throughout the session, depicted a bumpy ride as in the first session it made an high of 2683 points but profit taking activity erased the gains and the market even saw the index move in red territory for a while.

However, before the closure of the first session, the index was about to break the all-time high, but bargain hunters arrested the upward trend.

Same situation prevailed in the second session and strong tussle was witnessed between bulls and bears. Both wanted to dominate the proceedings.

But support from financial institutions and gains in Hubco, PTCL, PSO, PIAC and Sui Northern Gas helped the index to close on a positive note.

Some traders and dealers were of the opinion that they received news from the market players that they have standing orders from some of the banks and financial institutions, working as custodian entities for the overseas Pakistanis.

The tempo appeared to slow down a bit and the market might see new high of 3,000 points but the ride would be bumpy and the index would not climb in succession in the coming period.

A leading analyst said the inherent sentiment is quite bullish because the market would see some fresh inflows next year from the financial institutions and other corporations to be termed as New Year buying.

Moreover, the possible rate cut on National Saving Schemes might increase flow of funds into the equity market, paving the way for another rally.

The rally since long is dominated by local institutions, individuals, banks and brokerage houses.

There is need that foreign participation should increase. If buying from this horizon surfaces in the new year, the market is bound to witness new high.

Hasnain Asghar of Aziz Fidahusein said that the bulls held the driving seat to accomplish the tough task, as the KSE-100 finally managed to breach the nine-year high.

The buying from all corners led to an air pocket of 30 points, and the market soon faced float from the carryover holdings and the index registered another high of 2682 (+42) but saw an adjustment of 50 points to settle at 2626.

The yield-thirsty funds soon barged in and the leading stocks witnessed accumulation around 2,640 level thus allowing the punters to re-enter–with a bang.

Technically, closing above previous (2661) high depicts further surge, with high yields and healthy volumes at current levels allowing a justification for fresh entries as the upcoming annual and bi-annual results will continue to boost sentiment.

Adil Ehtesham from Moosani Securities said that fresh investment from institutions in the blue chips upheld the sentiment and buying spree once again appeared on the bourses.

Second session was even better than a market consensus. Bulls displayed their supremacy and cheered investors.

KSE has outperformed recently as a rallying stock market boosting the value of investors shareholdings.

Majority of investors believe that stocks would get the benefit as there is lot of stimulus in the pipeline like cut in interest rates on NSS, plus privatisation rally of major blue chips.

PTCL on a volume of 22.870 million shares gained Rs 1.05 to Rs 25.60; Hubco on trading of 22.034 million shares rose Rs 1.80 to Rs 38.90; PSO moved up to Rs 198.05 from Rs 197.40 on business of 36.009 million shares; Sui Northern Gas closed at Rs 24.75, ie higher by 25 paisa on total deals of 26.268 million shares; and FFC Jordan denoted a rise of five paisa to Rs 9.60 as around 20.824 million shares changed hands.

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