Foreign buying pushes Pakistani stocks to new high

 

Pakistan's benchmark stock index closed above 15,000 points for the first time on Tuesday, as foreign investors aggressively bought selected stocks, gaining confidence after last week's peaceful elections.


The benchmark Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) 100-share index closed 0.73 per cent up at 15,056.27 points, a new closing high.

Turnover was about 201 million shares with gainers beating losers 159 to 146.


The free-float KSE-30 share index ended 1.14 per cent up at 18,623.46 points.

"Foreign investors have regained confidence in the Pakistani market after the elections, and now they are eyeing selected stocks here, which is pushing the index to new highs," said Sajid Bhanji, a dealer at brokers Arif Habib Ltd.

According to central bank data, a net foreign inflow of $67.32 million was seen on February 22, taking the total net foreign inflow for February to $139.06 million.

"Investor sentiment looks pretty upbeat at the momentum, and this should help maintain the positive momentum, though with small corrections," he said.

The February 18 election in the country was largely peaceful and all sides accepted the result.

The two main opposition parties that won have vowed to work together to form a government although that does raise the prospect of them trying to force US ally President Pervez Musharraf from power.

The KSE-100 has gained about 5 per cent since the election. It is Asia's top performer this year with gains of nearly 7 per cent, although many investors still consider it a difficult and illiquid market.

Among the most active companies, DG Khan Cement gained 3.2 per cent, Lucky Cement ended 2.9 per cent up and Nishat Mills gained 5 per cent. (Reuters)
 
 
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