KARACHI, Jan 21 (Reuters) - The Pakistani stock market
closed higher on Monday after political tensions which dominated
the news last week seemed to ease, traders said.
The Karachi Stock Exchange's (KSE) benchmark
100-share index ended 0.24 percent, or 39.04 points, higher at
Traders were anxious last week after Muslim cleric Muhammad
Tahirul Qadri fired up thousands of protestors in the heart of
Islamabad with calls for the government to resign.
The market was also nervous after the Supreme Court issued
an order for the arrest of Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf in
connection with corruption allegations.
Qadri struck a deal with the government which may give him
some say in the electoral process in the run-up to elections
this spring, and the head of the state's anti-corruption agency
refused to arrest Ashraf. The prime minister's case was
adjourned until Jan. 23.
"The uncertainty seems to be lifting and things seem to be
returning to normal," said Atif Zafar, a research analyst at the
JS Global financial services company.
Maple Leaf Cement was in the limelight, rising 2.3
percent to 16.00 rupees per share, with strong quarter results
expected in the cement sector driving up shares, traders said.
In the currency market, the Pakistani rupee ended
steady at 97.65/97.70 against the dollar, compared to Friday's
close of 97.64/97.69.
Overnight rates in the money market ended at 8.75 percent
compared to Thursday's close of 9.25 percent.
(Compiled by the Karachi newsroom)