KSE end up on earnings hopes; rupee firms vs dollar

Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) ended higher on Thursday amid investor hopes of healthy corporate results as the quarterly earnings season started.

KSE benchmark 100-share index ended 0.33 percent, or 41.59 points, higher at 12,474.76. Volume was 70.32 million shares, compared with 83.24 million shares on Wednesday.

“Hopes of good earnings have resulted in activity picking up in the market,” said Asif Jan Mohammad, a dealer at Taurus Securities.

“We can see investor interest in the fertiliser, banking and oil stocks, and most of it is earnings driven,” he said.

Most big companies are scheduled to announce their quarterly results in the coming days.

Among the volume leaders on Thursday were Fatima Fertiliser, which ended 0.18 percent higher at 17.10 rupees.

Fauji Fertiliser ended flat at 164.50 rupees while Bank Alfalah gained 2.94 percent to close at 10.85 rupees.

In the currency market, the rupee strengthened to close at 86.14/17 to the dollar, compared with the previous day’s close of 86.20/25 as dollar supplies outmatched demand in the interbank market.

“The (dollar) inflows were pretty good today and there were no big payments as well, and so the rupee gained,” said a dealer at a foreign bank.

The rupee hit a record low of 86.50 in May, but has been steady since, largely due to increased remittances from Pakistanis working abroad.

According to official data, remittances rose to a record $11.2 billion in 2010/11 fiscal year, an increase of 25.77 percent from the previous year.

In the money market, overnight rates closed at the top level of 13.90 percent, little changed from the previous day, and dealers said rates are likely to hover around the current high levels given the tight liquidity situation in the market.