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Rupee strengthens after a pause

Karachi: KSE-100 index up by 94.22 points to settle at 24,972.90.

The benchmark index crawled over the 25,000 level to the intra-day high at 25,020.20 points, but also fell to intra-day low at 24,878.68.

The positive news flow regarding the improvement in rupee/dollar parity in interbank market to Rs107.15 mid-day, following the meeting of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar with head of all public and private banks on Tuesday came up as pleasant surprise.

The finance minister’s optimism over the government target of $20 billion in reserves in three years was also noted by investors. His comments on expected release of $800 million coalition support funds, $1.2bn from the G3 licence auctions, the outlook for receipt of privatization proceeds of upcoming State-Owned-Enterprises and the $800m from Etisalat due to PTCL sale, were all thought to be able to shore up the foreign exchange reserves.

The remittances of $6.4bn from overseas Pakistanis in the first five months of the current financial year also provided relief. However, the icing on the cake was Mr. Dar’s declaration on Wednesday that Pakistan’s GDP growth was a stunning 5 per cent during Jul-Sep (1QFY14) period compared to 2.9pc in the same period last year; it compared favorably to last 5-year’s average GDP growth at 2.9pc.

Local players were generally on the ‘sell’ side. Companies, banks and individuals offloaded stocks of the value of $0.73m; $0.79m and $0.32m, respectively. Mutual Funds meanwhile bought stocks worth $1.14m on Wednesday.

Dealers at Sherman Securities stated that activity was witnessed mainly in cement and banking sector. Oil sector again supported the index. OGDC closed up by 55 paisa to Rs280.69; PSO closed up by Rs1.18 to Rs326.85; Pakistan Petroleum gained Rs1.05 to Rs215.03 and Pakistan Oilfields was up by 91 paisa to Rs495.11. Engro remained under pressure with the news of hurdles that it could face on gas supply issues on the proposed sale price.

The news about decline in banks NPL gave a positive outlook to the banking industry where the first two volume leaders were from the banking sector. Both major stocks on the textile sector, Nishat Mills and Nishat Chunian closed higher on investors’ confidence over the award of GSP plus status to Pakistan as the case was to be presented to EU Parliament on Wednesday.

In all, 365 stocks came up for trading on Wednesday, with gainers at 234 and losers at 104. Turnover in terms of shares was lightly up by 1.1pc to 180m shares, from 178m shares, while trading value stood reduced by 9pc to Rs7.206bn, from Rs7.926bn the earlier day. Market capitalisation saw addition of Rs26bn to Rs6.032 trillion.

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Rupee strengthens after a pause

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