KSE end up; rupee firms

Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) ended up on Thursday as investors accumulated energy stocks following a rise in international oil prices, but dealers said there were concerns of foreign selling due to the unfolding crisis in Libya.

KSE 100-share index ended 0.14 percent, or 15.84 points, higher at 11,539.26, recovering from its two-and-a-half month low made the previous day.

Turnover was at 80.20 million shares, lower than 100.49 million shares traded on Wednesday.

“Due to an increase in international oil prices, oil stocks remained up,” said Samar Iqbal, dealer at Topline Securities Ltd.

Oil prices hit 29-month highs on Thursday to near $120 a barrel, on growing fears that the unrest in Libya could spread to other oil producing countries including top exporter Saudi Arabia, threatening to derail global growth.

Pakistan Oilfields ended 0.31 percent higher at 291.05 and Oil and Gas Development Co Ltd rose 1.17 percent to 158.49 rupees.

Meanwhile, the rupee gained slightly to end at 85.37/42 to the dollar, compared with Wednesday’s close of 85.39/44, but dealers expect pressure on the local unit as oil imports are likely to cost more due to rising international prices.

In the money market, overnight rates ended flat at 13.90 percent, as there were scheduled outflows of 157 billion rupees ($1.84 billion) and scheduled net inflows of 135 billion rupees ($1.58 billion).