KARACHI: Pakistan stocks closed higher on Thursday, on a thin trading day that saw very few triggers in the market, analysts said.
The benchmark 100-share index of the Pakistan Stock Exchange ended up 0.23 percent, or 88.63 points, to close at 38,237.89.
“You can blame it on general lethargy during Ramadan, and perhaps also to recent deterioration in the law and order situation in Karachi,” said Gohar Rasool, head of international sales, Inter Market Securities Pvt Ltd.
Rasool was referring to the killing of celebrated Sufi singer Amjad Sabri in Karachi on Wednesday, and the recent kidnapping case of the top provincial judge’s son.
The Muslim holy month of Ramadan entails day-long fasts, and tends to result in limited commercial and business activity. Trading hours at the Pakistan Stock Exchange are also curtailed during the month.
Index heavyweights that led the gains included MCB Bank Ltd gaining 2.3 percent, Habib Bank Ltd finishing up 1.11 percent, and Engro Corporation Ltd rising 0.87 percent.
“We believe market activity should pick up post Ramadan, particularly as triggers come into play,” said Rasool.
“The earnings season for one would be an interesting period while the State Bank of Pakistan will also announce its monetary policy next month.”
Traded volume on the day stood at a thin 67.6 million shares with traded value at 5.53 billion rupees ($52.81 million). ($1 = 104.7200 Pakistani rupees) –Reuters