Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Pakistani stocks end lower, rupee weakens

KARACHI: Pakistani stocks ended down on Thursday, snapping gains from the previous four trading sessions as investors booked gains at higher levels, dealers said.
The Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index closed on 61.04 points (0.69 per cent) lower at 8,817.60 on turnover of 204.64 million shares.
The KSE-index made its highest close this year on Wednesday at 8,878.64 points and has gained 50.3 per cent this year after losing 58.3 per cent in 2008.
‘There was profit taking as we have seen a bull run in recent days,’ said Sajid Bhanji, a dealer at brokers’ Arif Habib Ltd.
Dealers said foreign investors were looking at Pakistan’s market as its macroeconomic fundamentals were improving.
According to official data, foreign investors bought shares worth $95.3 million in August and $36.4 million in the first two days of September.
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.
Dealers said in medium term, the stock market’s direction was dependent on foreign inflows.
‘Going forward, foreign inflows will determine the market direction in the absence of any trigger,’ said Mohammed Sohail, chief executive at Topline Securities.
In the currency market, the rupee ended weaker at 82.79/89 compared with Wednesday’s close of 82.61/71 due payments for imports, and dealers said the rupee was expected to face downward pressure.
The rupee has lost 4.45 per cent this year after losing 22.12 per cent in 2008. —FREUTERS

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