KARACHI: Pakistani stocks led by the energy and banking sectors closed on Wednesday at their highest level of the year, dealers said, with interest from foreigners also an influence.
The Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index ended or 109.40 points (1.25 per cent) higher at 8,878.64, the highest closing of the year, after reaching 8,939.75 at one point. Volume was 231.12 million shares.
The KSE-100 has gained 51.38 per cent this year after losing 58.3 per cent in 2008.
Dealers said improved macroeconomic fundamentals were encouraging foreign investors to look at Pakistan. According to official data, foreign investors bought shares worth $95.3 million in August and $21.29 million on Tuesday.
Last week, S&P raised Pakistan’s sovereign rating to B-minus from CCC+, citing improvements in its external liquidity and a reduction in its fiscal deficit.
‘We’ve been seeing a lot of foreign interest lately, after Pakistan’s ratings improved and that trend seems to be continuing’ said Mohammed Sohail, chief executive at Topline Securities.
Dealers said the energy and banking sectors led the rally.
Bank Alfalah, volume leader, rose 7.13 per cent to12.92 rupees while Oil and Gas Development Co. Ltd. ended 1.12 per cent higher at 109.50 rupees.
Dealers said while the stock market looks healthy for now, foreign flows will dictate going forward. In the currency market, the rupee ended firmer at 82.61/71 compared with Tuesday’s close of 82.86/96 due to portfolio inflows, but dealers said the rupee was expected to face downward pressure near-term on import-related dollar payments.
The rupee has lost 4.25 per cent this year after losing 22.12 per cent in 2008. —FREUTERS