Easing inflation figures boost Pakistani stocks

KARACHI: Pakistan’s stock market closed higher on Monday, supported by a lower inflation rate and interest in the oil, fertilizer and cement sectors, dealers said.

The Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index ended 1.27 per cent, or 228.80 points, higher at 18,272.11 points.

Pakistan’s inflation rate eased to 6.57 percent in March year-on-year, from 7.4 per cent in February, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics said on Monday.

Traders said the end of the nomination process ahead of May 11 general elections also boosted investor confidence.

“With (the) nomination paper submission process over, investors confidence improves as local bourse crossed 18,270 points mark for the first time ever,” said Samar Iqbal, a trader at Topline Securities.

“Pre-result mania coupled with (a) lower CPI helped also kept interest alive.”

Pakistan Petroleum Ltd rose 2.61 per cent to 179.78 rupees and Engro Corporation rose 4.42 per cent to 134.70 rupees.

In the currency market, the rupee ended steady at 98.38/98.43 against the dollar.

Overnight rates in the money market remained flat at 9.40 percent.