Pakistani stocks, rupee ease ahead of monetary policy announcement
KARACHI: Pakistani stocks eased lower on Tuesday, pressured by a drop in shares of cement and gas companies, dealers said.
The Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-index closed at 16,701.69 points, down 0.51 per cent or 85.85 points from the previous session. The market hit a record high of 16,903.46 on Friday.
Trading has been subdued ahead of the central bank’s decision on interest rates on Friday. Analysts expect the State Bank of Pakistan to further cut its discount rate.
Fauji Cement fell 2.28 per cent, or 0.15 rupee, to 6.43 per share, while Sui Northern Gas dropped 3.51 per cent, or 0.85 rupees, to 23.40 per share.
Stocks that rose included Maple Leaf Cement, up 0.65 per cent to 14.00 per share, and Engro Foods, which gained 1.33 per cent to 93.80 per share.
In the currency market, the Pakistani rupee weakened to 97.15/97.25 against the dollar, compared to Monday’s 96.91/96.95.
The local currency may fall further due to high dollar demand from importers, a dealer said.
Overnight rates in the money market remained flat at 9 per cent.