Pakistans capital market is at the crossroads at the end of the year 2009 as economic indicators, both internal and external, are to prompt bullish trends while developments on the political front are to pave way for bearish sentiments. Internal forces especially anticipation from the year-end payouts by the blue chips, especially belonging the insurance and banking sectors, helped equities gain during the week ending Thursday, as Friday last was a holiday. Energy and fertilizer sectors were also luring buyers for the anticipated year-end bonanza. Last but not the least, blue chip stocks after being corrected at low values, are natural attraction for margin hunters. This way potent internal factors were to lead the players to the bullish path. Externally, developments on the overall economic front are also clearly in favour of a gaining market. The Moodys encouraging outlook of Pakistans economy, earlier this month boosted the sentiment of buyers. Of late the news of International Monetary Funds Executive Board approval to the fourth tranche of $1.2 billion came as a catalyst to the bullish sentiment. However, the political state of affairs in the country was uneasy as was evident from none else but President Asif Ali Zardari himself, who aired threat perception and tensions in his speech at the second anniversary of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto. This uncertain political scenario wherein frictions rather than coherence among the state institutions was obvious like an open secret was not at all conducive for investment. Short-term investments in the stocks exchanges were even more sensitive than the direct investment that already has gone on a standstill again in the wake of prolonging political uncertainty. Therefore, it was difficult for the market players to make investment decisions having the Presidency perturbed, and the government in a fix after the December 16 judgement of the apex court on National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO). Thus they observed that political scenario of the country was rather moving against the governments own efforts to stabilise and then revive the fragile economy. Market pundits were of the view that the sentiment of trade throughout the 2009 remained deprived of a corresponding external environment, especially politics that could be conducive if not reinforcing bullish mood of the portfolio investors. In such a complex scenario, Pakistans stock markets opened the week under review on a positive note. However, volumes of trade remained low for a majority of players preferred to stay on sidelines, chiefly due to uncertainty revolving around the fate of NRO beneficiaries, still occupying critical ruling positions starting from the Presidency to down the line. In short, the market bettered by a little over half a percentile of the indexed value during the opening session of the week that was. Since institutions and heavyweights set the trend on Monday last, the retailers too dared to join the drive for margin hunt by the second session of the week under review. Therefore, the market surged slightly over a percentile on Tuesday last. Profit taking snubbed the bulls on Wednesday last and the market failed to maintain its gaining momentum. Consequently, the market had to rather shed a third of a percentile during the second last session of the four-day week that was. Thursday was the last working session before the long weekend, as the market would reopen on Tuesday December 29. The IMFs approval to the fourth tranche for Pakistan was so encouraging for the market that the players least bothered about an extraordinary long weekend ahead and went bullish on the last working session. Resultantly, the market bagged nearly one and a half percentiles during the last session indicating further bull-run ahead. Pundits were however cautious in predicting the future of the market in the wake of ambiguity on the political front.