Karachi Stock Exchange ends up, rupee weakens

Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) ended nearly 1.5 percent higher on Tuesday on expectations the central bank may again cut its key policy rate after data showed inflation increased less than expected in August, dealers said.

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) is due to unveil monetary policy for the next two months on October 8.

“As soon as the inflation data was released, we saw the market gain 150 points plus,” said Raza Jafri, deputy head of research at AKD Securities Ltd.

Pakistan’s consumer price index (CPI), a key indicator of inflation, rose 11.56 percent in August from a year ago, the Federal Bureau of Statistics said on Tuesday.

The CPI was up 1.40 percent from July, when it rose 13.77 percent year on year.

Analysts said the data raised the possibility of another rate cut. The central bank lowered its policy rate by 50 basis points to 13.50 percent in July.

The KSE benchmark 100-share index closed 1.46 percent or 166.23 points higher at 11,356.64, on turnover of 31.2 million shares.

In the currency market, the rupee weakened to close at 87.72/78 to the dollar from Monday’s close of 87.63/67 as higher import payments were seen.

The rupee hit a record low of 87.92 to the dollar on Friday and dealers expect the pressure to continue after reports Pakistan will not seek a new loan from International Monetary Fund.

Increases in import payments and a negative economic outlook will also continue to keep the local unit under pressure, dealers say.

In the money market, overnight rates ended eased to end at 13.0 percent, compared with the previous day’s close of 13.40.

Dealers said they were awaiting the treasury bill auction scheduled for Wednesday in which they expect a reduction in the one-year paper’s cut-off yields.