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Stocks marginally up ahead of monetary policy announcement

February 10, 2012

The Karachi Stock Exchange.—AFP (File Photo)

KARACHI: Pakistani stocks rose marginally on Friday in low turnover as investors were cautious ahead of a central bank monetary policy announcement, dealers said.

Pakistan’s central bank is seen keeping its key policy rate at 12 per cent on Saturday as inflation is expected to rise during the remainder of the fiscal year through June because of higher oil and gas prices.

Eleven of 15 analysts polled by Reuters expect the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to keep the key rate steady, three anticipate it will cut it by 50 basis points and one expects it to cut it by 100 basis points.

The Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) benchmark 100-share index rose 0.15 per cent or 18.36 points, to 12,2231.60 points.

Volume fell to 64.5 million shares, compared with 139.14 million traded on Thursday.

“Investors (seemed to) prefer to wait until the announcement of the monetary policy and are then (expected to) take fresh positions on Monday if there are no surprises,” said Shuja Rizvi, a dealer at brokers’ Al-Hoqani Securities Ltd.

Monetary policy for the next two months will be unveiled on Saturday at 4 pm.