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Pakistani rupee strengthens; stocks close slightly higher

December 19, 2012

A stockbroker at the Karachi Stock Exchange.—Reuters Photo

KARACHI: The declining Pakistani rupee strengthened slightly on Wednesday, closing at 97.69/97.73 against the greenback, compared to Tuesday’s close of 97.88/97.94.

The rally was a brief interlude in a mainly downward slide.

The rupee is under pressure due to import and oil payments and may fall further due to a strong demand for the dollar from importers.

Overnight rates in the money market ended at 9.50 per cent compared to Tuesday’s close of 9.40 per cent.

Meanwhile, in the equity market, Pakistani stocks closed slightly higher, mainly supported by oil stocks.

The Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-index closed at 16,869.83, 0.07 per cent higher or 11.15 points.

Investors also booked profit in the Engro Corp as no major decision was taken to overcome gas shortages in the fertiliser sector, said dealer Samar Iqbal at Topline Securities.

Financial services company Jahangir Siddiqui rose 1.85 per cent, or 0.30 rupee, to 16.52 per share while Fauji Fertilizer was up 0.37 per cent, or 0.42 rupees, to 114.45 per share.

Stocks that fell included Hub Power Co, down 0.41 per cent to 43.80 per share, and D.G. Khan Cement, which fell 0.51 per cent to 54.65 per share.