Pakistani stocks steady ahead of monetary policy decision
KARACHI: Pakistani stocks steadied near 16,800 points on Monday, ending a four session streak of record highs, as traders awaited this week’s central bank decision on monetary policy, dealers said.
The Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-index closed at 16,787.54 points, down 0.12 per cent or 20.37 points. The market hit a record high of 16,903.46 during intraday trading on Friday.
The market has found support from expectations that the State Bank of Pakistan will cut its discount rate this week after government data showed inflation under control.
Fauji Cement fell 2.08 per cent, or 0.14 rupee, to 6.59 per share, while National Bank dropped 2.12 per cent, or 1.07 rupees, to 49.50 per share.
Stocks that rose included Maple Leaf Cement, up 4.39 per cent to 14.02 per share, and Askari Bank, which gained 1.97 per cent to 17.10 per share.
In the currency market, the Pakistani rupee weakened to 96.91/96.95 against the dollar, compared to Friday’s 96.70/96.94. The local currency may fall further due to high dollar demand from importers, dealers said.
Overnight rates in the money market remained flat at 9 per cent.