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Stocks, rupee flat; o/n rates down | Pk Geo News

By Haris Afzal on Friday, August 27, 2010 with 1 comment

KARACHI: Pakistani stocks ended almost flat on Friday as cautious investors stayed on the sidelines awaiting a clear picture on the economic costs of floods and on talks between the International Monetary Fund and Pakistan.

The Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) benchmark 100-share index ended 0.10 percent, or 9.34 points, higher at 9,598.71 on turnover of 35.4 million shares.

"With no constructive details on the talks between IMF and Pakistan and clarity on the loss to GDP caused by the floods, investors preferred to stay out of the market ahead of the weekend," said Asad Iqbal, chief investment officer at Faysal Asset Management Ltd.

Pakistan's finance minister and central bank governor joined IMF talks in Washington that are focused on salvaging the economy.

The finance minister said his country wanted to keep pursuing an $11 billion IMF loan programme. However, no details were given about what targets were going to be reviewed.

The floods could knock down Pakistan's economic growth for fiscal 2010/11 to between zero and 2 percent, Pakistani officials said on Monday, fuelling concern about the country's stability.

The Asian Development Bank, assessing flood damage and Pakistan's needs along with the World Bank, said last week economic growth could be 3 percent.

The KSE-index has lost 8.02 percent since the floods began.

In the currency market, the rupee ended flat at 85.60/65 to the dollar, unchanged from Thursday's close.

Dealers said the rupee would be range-bound in the short-term but expected pressure in the medium-term.

The rupee fell to a record low of 85.80 on July 12 amid high demand for dollars from importers as well as on debt repayments.

In the money market, overnight rates fell to between 12 percent and 12.20 percent compared with Thursday's close of 12.90 percent after the State Bank of Pakistan injected 14.65 billion rupees.

Category: Business News

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