Pakistani stocks end up; rupee weakens

Written by Agencies | Karachi | Updated: Jul 28 2010, 22:38pm hrs
Pakistani stocks rose on Wednesday as investors bought shares on hopes of strong corporate earnings, dealers said.

The KSE's benchmark 100-share index, gained 0.68 percent, or 70.52 points, to end at 10,457.34 points on turnover of 93.86 million shares.

The earning season kicked off with a few strong results giving impetus to investors to step in, said Asad Iqbal, chief investment officer at Faysal Asset Management Ltd.

However, dealers said turnover was still on the lower side, as investors remained on the sidelines ahead of the announcement of the monetary policy for August and September, due to be unveiled on Friday.

A Reuters poll found 12 of 15 analysts expected the central bank to keep its policy rate unchanged at 12.5 percent when it sets monetary policy in a meeting on July 30. But further tightening could be coming when the central bank meets next in September.

However three analysts expected the central bank to raise its key policy rate by 50 basis points because of a widening fiscal deficit.

In the currency market, the rupee ended marginally weaker at 85.55/62 to the dollar, compared with Tuesday's close of 85.53/60 and dealers said the local unit was expected to stay rangebound in the near term.

The rupee fell to a record closing low of 85.75/80 this month amid high dollar demand from importers as well as debt repayments.

In the money market, overnight rates ended at 11.50 percent, compared with Tuesday's close of between 11.50 percent and 11.75 percent.

Dealers said they were waiting for the result of a treasury bill auction with a target of Rs 85 billion ($993.6 million), which was released after the market closed on Wednesday.