Stocks end lower; rupee firms; o/n rates flat
KARACHI: Pakistani stocks ended slightly lower on Thursday as investors booked profits at higher levels after the market closed at a four-year high the previous day, dealers said.
The Karachi Stock Exchange benchmark 100-share index ended 0.12 per cent, or 16.31 points, lower at 13,559.10. The KSE-index ended at 13,575.41 points on Wednesday, its highest close since May 2008.
Volume fell to 344.56 million shares, compared with the 450 million shares traded on Wednesday.
“Some profit taking was witnessed at Karachi Exchange …however active participation was seen in Lafarge Pakistan and Bank Islami and National Bank closed at upper limit in anticipation of excellent results for the quarter ending March 2012,” said Samar Iqbal, a dealer at Topline Securities Ltd.
Volume leader Lafarge Pakistan closed 14.39 per cent higher at 4.53 rupees, National Bank of Pakistan rose 4.99 per cent at 45.21 rupees, and Bank Islami gained 14.16 per cent at 8.06 rupees.
In the currency market, the rupee ended firmer at 90.62/67 to the dollar, compared with Tuesday’s close at 90.70/75 amid a lack of import payments.
The rupee has been supported recently by remittances from Pakistanis overseas, which rose nearly a quarter to $8.59 billion in the first eight months of the 2011/12 fiscal year, compared with $6.96 billion in the 2010/11 period.
In February, remittances totaled $1.16 billion.
In the money market, overnight rates were flat at the top level of 11.90 per cent.