Pakistan stocks surge to fresh record high, rupee weakens

Last Updated: Wed, Dec 05, 2012 12:40 hrs

KARACHI, Dec 5 (Reuters) - Pakistani stocks on Wednesday hit a record high for the second straight session, supported by a rise in shares of Engro Foods and gas companies.

The Karachi Stock Exchange's (KSE) benchmark 100-share index surged as high as 16,699.54 in intraday trading. It closed at 16,675.70, up 0.15 percent or 25.55 points.

The market has hit record highs in six of the last seven sessions, and was up 25 percent since mid-June.

Jahangir Sidiqui rose 1.57 percent, or 0.29 rupee, to 18.76 per share, while Engro Foods was up 4.99 percent, or 4.34 rupees, to 91.30 per share.

P.T.C.L. fell 4.86 percent, or 0.87 rupees, to 17.04 per share.

"Institutional buying supported Engro ... and banks gained on hopes of better-than-expected results," said Nausheen Kiran, an equities dealer at Al Hoqani Securities.

The market also found support from expectations that the State Bank of Pakistan will cut its discount rate this week after government data showed inflation under control.

In the currency market, the Pakistani rupee weakened at 96.60/96.65 against the dollar, compared to Tuesday's close of 96.50/96.57 ahead of scheduled government debt and oil payments, dealers said.

Overnight rates in the money market rose to 10 percent from Tuesday's close of 7.00 percent. (Compiled by the Karachi newsroom)

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