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January 3, 2008

LSE falls 134 points

Opinion

January 3, 2008

LAHORE: The stock market suffered another massive fall on Wednesday, though it was somewhat less than Tuesday, as the index plunged by 134 points, breaching the 4,300 barrier. In the last three days, the market has lost around 500 points.

The LSE 25-share index closed at 4,212 points amid moderate trading of over 30 million shares. There were 119 active shares, out of which value of 12 companies increased, 57 declined and 50 stood unchanged. BOSI was the volume leader with a turnover of 7.8 million shares.

Experts pointed out that the market was operating on ground realities as both the economy and political stability of the country were at risk. The mutual fund sector recovered a little bit as many funds ended trading on a positive note. All other sectors remained under pressure.

The experts said all extra fat in the market had been wiped out and many shares seemed attractive but investors would not take any risk till life returned to normal in the country and law and order situation improved.

Many banks had lost creditability with their customers as they scrambled to evaluate their losses and retrieve data from the central data bank about account details of the branches looted or destroyed during riots.

The banking sector remained under pressure, though Allied Bank and United Bank staged a handsome recovery and the Bank of Punjab, which was least affected during the unrest, gained some share value.

The insurance sector continued to suffer as details of the property and assets lost during the violence started coming in. The cement sector’s woes were mainly due to inactivity in the construction sector. The refinery and oil and gas sectors were in bad shape. Refineries were not receiving enough crude oil and oil marketing companies were suffering from cash crunch, which was reflected in the decline in their shares in the capital market.

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