Karachi stocks end higher

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Pakistan’s main stock exchange closed higher, with the benchmark 100-share index of the Karachi Stock Exchange rising 0.32 percent or 74.64 points to 23,242.68.

Supported by banking stocks, the benchmark index gained 75 points.  Though a majority of oil, cement and textile stocks fell due to the central bank raising its key discount rate to 9.5 percent from 9.0 percent on Friday, a strong rally in banking stocks resulted in the index posting decent returns.

Investors sold shares in leverage stocks like cements and textiles and took fresh positions in banking stocks in the hope that the rising interest rate will increase their profitability, dealers said.

The National Bank of Pakistan rose 5 percent to 52.52 rupees while Maple Leaf Cement Factory Ltd. was up 0.97 percent to 26.02 rupees.

The rupee ended steady at 104.94/104.99 against the dollar, compared to Friday’s close of 104.92/104.99.

Overnight rates in the money market rose to 8.00 percent from Friday’s close of 7.75 percent.

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