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Site update: September 28 2021, at 17:15 PKST
Stock update: September 28 2021.

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Tuesday, September 28 2021

Market watch: Stocks falter for seventh consecutive session
KARACHI: The Pakistan Stock Exchange fell for the seventh consecutive session on Monday after a fresh wave of rupee depreciation triggered inflationary fears among investors and sparked sell-off at the bourse. Resultantly, the benchmark KSE-100 index offloaded 256 points and dropped below the 45,000-point barrier. The local currency slid to an all-time low against the US dollar and closed at Rs169.6, instilling fears of further worsening of the current account deficit and imported inflation. Profit-booking caused damage in all index-heavy sectors and all of them closed in the red. After a brief rally at the beginning, the KSE-100 index declined as investors opted to book profits and safeguard their positions amid the weakening rupee. The market managed to recover some of the losses in final hours owing to aggressive buying activity. At close, the benchmark KSE-100 index recorded a decrease of 255.76 points, or 0.57%, to settle at 44,817.76. In its report, Arif Habib Limited stated that the market posted gains of 163 points earlier in the session, but faced an onslaught soon after, which caused the erosion of gains with a loss of 732 points.
Related news categories: business economic-indicators misc psx stock-exchanges

Brent oil nears $80 a barrel amid supply constraints
LONDON: Oil prices rose for a fifth straight day on Monday with Brent at its highest since October 2018 and heading for $80 amid supply concerns as demand picks up in parts of the world with the easing of pandemic restrictions. Brent crude was up $0.92 or 1.2% at $79.01 a barrel by 1100 GMT, having posted three straight weeks of gains. US WTI added $0.82, or 1.1%, to $74.80, near its highest since July, after rising for a fifth straight week last week. Goldman Sachs raised by $10 its forecast for Brent crude at the end of this year to $90 per barrel, as faster fuel demand recovery from the outbreak of the Delta variant of the coronavirus and Hurricane Ida's hit to US production led to tight global supplies. "While we have long held a bullish oil view, the current global supply-demand deficit is larger than we expected, with the recovery in global demand from the Delta impact even faster than our above-consensus forecast and with global supply remaining short of our below consensus forecasts," Goldman said.
Related news categories: business economic-indicators misc oilgas-marketing

Rupee drops to fresh low of 169.60
KARACHI: Pakistani currency hit a new all-time low of Rs169.60 against the US dollar in the inter-bank market on Monday in the wake of mounting pressure of import payments on the back of a surge in commodity prices in global markets and the tumultuous geopolitical situation in Afghanistan. Scheduled talks between the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Pakistan to resume $6 billion loan programme are not seen as a strong reason behind the downward trend in the rupee, but the expected successful conclusion of the discussion is projected to end volatility in the currency. Since the rupee has achieved equilibrium against the US dollar a few days ago, the recent drop in its value is unsustainable and short-lived. “Panic buying of dollar has caused the rupee’s slide,” Ismail Iqbal Securities Head of Research Fahad Rauf said while talking to The Express Tribune. “The rupee volatility will end with successful conclusion of talks between Pakistan and the IMF in October,” said Arif Habib Limited Head of Research Tahir Abbas. The fresh decline of the rupee came on the day the benchmark Brent crude price hit a three-year high of nearly $80 per barrel in the international market.
Related news categories: business economic-indicators misc

Pakistan Post to offer banking services
ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin has backed a plan of starting banking services by Pakistan Post Office Department (PPOD) and suggested that it should enter into joint ventures with established banks. Tarin told the cabinet that he would discuss the matter with the minister for communications to finalise modalities in this regard. During discussion in a recent meeting, a cabinet member highlighted the need to delve on the larger question as to whether the government should be involved in running commercial ventures. Tarin pointed out that PPOD had an expanded national outreach with 14,000 branches across the country. Since scheduled banks catered to only 33% of the population, the national savings rate was considerably low even when compared with regional countries. With its nationwide outreach, Tarin said, the start of banking services by PPOD could help raise the national savings rate. While recommending approval of proposed amendments to the Rules of Business, the finance minister suggested that PPOD should enter into joint ventures with established banks, the modalities of which he would discuss with the minister for communications.
Related news categories: business economic-indicators misc

FBR takes over appeals process
ISLAMABAD: Amid a sharp rise in tax disputes that has put a question mark on Rs3 trillion potential revenues, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has attempted to bring commissioners appeals under its control, which may further widen trust deficit between taxpayers and the taxmen. Under the Income Tax Ordinance, the Commissioner Appeals is the first grievances redressal forum available to the taxpayers against the orders and tax assessments by the FBR. However, what appears to be interference in judicial process, the FBR has directed all Commissioners Appeals to report to the heads of regional and large tax offices, showed official documents. They commissioners of appeals have been asked to report their “performance” on monthly as well as quarterly basis, according to the documents. The law ensures their independence from the chief commissioners who head these offices to avoid conflict of interest. Commissioners Appeals are grade 20 officers of the FBR but they have been empowered under the law to work independently from the FBR’s Operations wing that is responsible for revenue collection. “All commissioners shall hold regular quarterly review meeting with relevant chief commissioners, LTO, MTO, CTOs, RTOs under intimation to legal wing to discuss number of orders annulled and reasons for annulment,” according to the directions issues by the FBR headquarter last month.
Related news categories: business misc helpline: +92-42-3631-4186 (10:30am to 5:30pm)