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Site update: July 30 2021, at 18:15 PKST
Stock update: July 30 2021.

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Friday, July 30 2021

Market watch: Soaring Covid tally sparks volatility at bourse
KARACHI: Volatility struck the Pakistan Stock Exchange on Thursday as the benchmark KSE-100 index oscillated between red and green territories with investor spirit shattered by an alarming rise in the number of Covid-19 cases across the country. A proposal from the Sindh government to lock down Karachi for 15 days to contain the spread of infections took a toll on the minds of investors, who resorted to offloading their positions. The tightening of Covid-related restrictions in the financial hub of Pakistan would spell doom for the recovering economy, hence market participants booked profit ahead of any such announcement. On the flip side, the KSE-100 index received support from strong corporate earnings, announced by the banking and fertiliser sectors, which helped erase most of the losses by the day’s end. Earlier, trading kicked off with minor ups and downs, however, the index dived below the 47,000-point mark after the possibility of a lockdown was hinted at by the Sindh government.
Related news categories: business economic-indicators misc psx stock-exchanges

Finance minister reviews auto policy draft
ISLAMABAD: The proposed Auto Industry Development and Export Policy (AIDEP) aims to expand the auto industry in Pakistan by increasing production of cars, motorcycles, tractors etc, said Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin. While presiding over a meeting to review the draft AIDEP 2021-2026, he said that the top most priority is to ensure consumer welfare through availability of cars at affordable rates for the middle and lower income groups. With this end in view, the government has provided major relief to the consumers by reducing sales tax on 850cc cars along with exemption from value-added tax in the federal budget 2021-22. The Ministry of Industries and Production confirmed that prices of vehicles have been reduced commensurate with reduction in taxes and the industry has widely advertised for the information of the general public. The policy would encourage exports of vehicles and automobile parts.
Related news categories: auto-assembler business economic-indicators misc

Foreign exchange: SBP reserves fall $221m to $17.8b
KARACHI: The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank fell 1.22% on a weekly basis, according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Thursday. On July 23, the foreign currency reserves held by the SBP were recorded at $17,829.8 million, down $221 million compared with $18,050.7 million recorded on July 16. The central bank gave no reason for the decrease in reserves. Overall liquid foreign currency reserves held by the country, including net reserves held by banks other than the SBP, stood at $24,875.5 million. Net reserves held by banks amounted to $7,045.7 million. Earlier, Pakistan borrowed $2.5 billion through Eurobonds on March 30, 2021 by offering lucrative interest rates to lenders aimed at building the foreign exchange reserves. It received the first loan tranche of $991.4 million from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on July 9, 2019, which helped bolster the reserves. In late December 2019, the IMF released the second loan tranche of around $454 million.
Related news categories: business economic-indicators misc

Rupee strengthens against dollar
KARACHI: The rupee strengthened against the US dollar at Rs161.88 in the inter-bank market on Thursday compared with Wednesday’s close of Rs161.9, according to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). Earlier, the SBP let the rupee depreciate massively in the inter-bank market after finalisation of an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a loan programme on May 12, 2019. The IMF has asked Pakistan to end state control of the rupee and let the currency move freely to find its equilibrium against the US dollar and other major world currencies.
Related news categories: business economic-indicators misc

Asian markets rally after Fed meeting
HONG KONG: Asian markets rose on Thursday as the Federal Reserve acknowledged the US recovery was well on track but it would not taper monetary policy just yet, while Hong Kong was lifted after China sought to reassure investors over its latest regulatory crackdown. Traders were also cheered by progress in Washington on President Joe Biden's trillion-dollar infrastructure bill, which he has said could "transform America" and add to the monumental amounts of stimulus already pumped into the world's top economy. The developments overshadowed concerns about the spread of the Delta coronavirus variant that is sending infection rates spiking in several countries - including those with high vaccination rates - and forcing some governments to impose lockdowns or other containment measures. While the Fed news was met with a shrug on Wall Street, Asia enjoyed gains, having endured a volatile week. Tokyo, Sydney, Seoul, Singapore, Mumbai, Wellington, Taipei, Bangkok Manila and Jakarta all rose.
Related news categories: business misc stock-exchanges helpline: +92-42-3631-4186 (10:30am to 5:30pm)