Stocks touch four-year high; banking shares fall on investor concern
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s main stock market closed slightly up on a four-year high on Thursday, building on yesterday’s rally on better-than-expected inflation figures, but banking shares fell on investor concern that a drop in interest rates could dent profits, dealers said.
The Karachi Stock Exchange benchmark 100-share index gained 13.81 points, or 0.09 per cent, to close at 14,730.67 on volume of 72.83 million shares, its highest close since May 2008.
“The market consolidated after rising for two consecutive days,” said Samar Iqbal, a dealer at Topline Securities.
“Banking stocks came down as investors believe that a decline in interest rates will hurt their margins.” Pakistan’s central bank is expected to announce its key policy rate for August and September on Aug 10.
In the currency market, the rupee strengthened to close at 94.46/46 to the dollar, compared with 94.61/67 on Wednesday.
Overnight rates in the money market closed lower at 9 per cent, compared with 11 per cent on Wednesday, due to increased liquidity.