Pakistan stocks lower on politics; rupee weakens
KARACHI – Pakistani stocks closed slightly lower on Monday on late selling triggered by political worries after an election tribunal disqualified a cabinet minister of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for rigging in the 2013 election.
The Karachi Stock Exchange 100-share index closed 0.02 percent or 6.43 points down at 33,723.53.
“The sharp fall in last half an hour was after the election tribunal gave the verdict of irregularities,” said Muhammad Rizwan of Topline Securities.
“Investors also trimmed their positions after slightly higher than expected April CPI.
The annual inflation rate fell to 2.11 percent in April from 2.49 percent in March, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics said on Monday, but on a month-on-month basis, prices rose 1.32 percent in April over March.
The disqualified politician, Railways Minister Saad Rafique, denied irregularities and said he would challenge the ruling in the Supreme Court.
The tribunal ordered a new election in the constituency, seeing the scene for what is likely to be a bruising battle for votes between Sharif’s party and that of cricketer-turned-opposition politician Imran Khan.
The market was up 297 points in mid-session.
Another analyst, Azhar Ali Shahzad of BMA Capital Management Ltd, said the outlook remained positive.
Engro Corporation Ltd was up 7.03 rupees to close at 309.57.
The rupee ended at 101.72/101.77 against the dollar compared with Previous close of 101.66/101.71.
Overnight rates in the money market remained flat at 7.50 percent. – Reuters