KSE index ends up, rupee weakens

Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) ended slightly higher on Thursday, led by the cement sector but dealers said investors booked profits in fertiliser and energy stocks.

The KSE benchmark 100-share index ended 0.14 percent, or 16.77 points, higher at 11,642.46 on turnover of 80.55 million shares.

“Investors offloaded their positions in the oil sector due to weakening international oil prices. Some profit-taking was also witnessed in fertilizer stocks today,” said Samar Iqbal, dealer at Topline Securities Ltd.

Lucky Cement gained 2.83 percent to 74.61 rupees, while Fauji Bin Qasim shed 0.47 percent to end at 57.45 rupees.

In the currency market, the rupee weakened to 87.46/51 to the dollar compared with Wednesday’s close of 87.42/51 amid increased import payments, and dealers expect the local unit to remain under pressure as payments are typically higher during the end of the month.

The rupee hit a record low of 87.92 to the dollar this month.

A decision by the government not to seek a new loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) would likely add to the pressure on the Pakistani rupee.

In the money market, overnight rates were flat at the top level of 13.40 percent, unchanged from Wednesday’s close amid tight liquidity in the interbank market.