KARACHI

The Pak Banker - - COMPANIES/BOSS -

Shares in the Karachi Stock Ex­change (KSE) ended down in a volatile ses­sion on Wed­nes­day as in­vestors be­come more riska­verse amid for­eign out­flows worth $20 mil­lion in the pre­vi­ous ses­sion, traders said.

The bench­mark 100-share in­dex at the KSE closed down 0.77 per­cent, or 261.38 points, at 33,537.42. "The mar­ket opened with a neg­a­tive sen­ti­ment as more than $20 mil­lion for­eign out­flow was wit­nessed in the last ses­sion," said Fawad Khan, head of re­search at KASB Se­cu­ri­ties Pvt Ltd. China's rate cut on Tues­day failed to pro­vide any re­lief and the mar­ket did not take it very pos­i­tively, Khan added. In­vestors will closely watch for­eign out­flows, which will de­ter­mine the mar­ket di­rec­tion, he said. Oil and gas ex­plor­ers led the de­cline, with Oil and Gas De­vel­op­ment Co Ltd fall­ing 0.9 per­cent and Pak­istan Petroleum Ltd los­ing 2.8 per­cent.

The rupee ended weaker at 104.00/104.05 against the dol­lar, com­pared with Tues­day's close of 103.95/104.05. Overnight rates in the money mar­ket rose to 6.50 per­cent from Tues­day's close of 6.25 per­cent.

Ear­lier on Mon­day, shares de­clined in line with other Asian mar­kets af­ter a rout in Chi­nese eq­ui­ties and a sharp drop in US dol­lar un­nerved in­vestors. US dol­lar ex­change rate in the in­ter­bank mar­ket ap­pre­ci­ated by Rs2.10 on Mon­day to reach a 17-month high of Rs104.10. The re­port said that dom­i­nant ex­porter groups are try­ing to cre­ate in­sta­bil­ity in the mar­ket by buy­ing US dol­lars in huge quan­tity.

Ex­perts are of the view that the de­crease in the value of rupee un­der the cur­rent cir­cum­stances will cause in­fla­tion in the coun­try.

Cur­rency deal­ers, how­ever, em­pha­sised that Haj pil­grims were the big­gest buy­ers of for­eign cur­ren­cies, in­clud­ing Saudi riyals and US dol­lars. Since a ma­jor part of Saudi riyals are be­ing con­sumed by pil­grims, less for­eign cur­ren­cies are avail­able to sell in Dubai for buy­ing and re­mit­ting dol­lars into the coun­try.

The State Bank has re­cently al­lowed cur­rency deal­ers to trans­fer dol­lars from Dubai di­rectly into their ac­counts in Pak­istan in­stead of sur­ren­der­ing dol­lars to a bank and then get­ting them within a week's time. The step was taken on de­mand of cur­rency deal­ers and for speedy sup­ply of dol­lars in the open mar­ket.

Since the im­po­si­tion of with­hold­ing tax (WHT) on bank­ing trans­ac­tions, anot her

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