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Site update: September 18 2020, at 18:00 PKST
Stock update: September 18 2020.

Recent Financial News in the 'economic-indicators' category

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Friday, September 18 2020

Market watch: Stock market reverses trend, gains 52 points
KARACHI: After receding for two successive days, the KSE-100 index of the Pakistan Stock Exchange reversed trend on Thursday and edged up about 50 points in a topsy-turvy session. Market expectation for a status quo in the upcoming monetary policy announcement by the State Bank of Pakistan, scheduled for Monday next week, prevented the bourse from posting handsome gains. Automobile, cement and fertiliser sectors bore the brunt of weak investor sentiment and most of the stocks in those sectors recorded losses. A slight recovery in global crude oil prices lent support to the bourse and aided its uptrend. Earlier, trading kicked off on a positive note and the index surpassed the 42,500-point mark in initial deals. The uptrend continued for some time, however, selling pressure emerged towards noon and wiped off most of the gains. Nevertheless, the KSE-100 index managed to close in the green. At close, the benchmark KSE-100 index recorded an increase of 52.48 points, or 0.12%, to close at 42,334.76 points.
Related news categories: business economic-indicators misc psx stock-exchanges

Inter-bank market Rupee strengthens against dollar
The rupee strengthened against the dollar at Rs166.21 in the inter-bank market on Thursday compared with Wednesday’s close of Rs166.34, 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. Also, the World Bank, which finances some of the infrastructure and social safety net projects in Pakistan, has supported the idea of leaving the rupee free from state control in a bid to give a much-needed boost to exports and fix a faltering economy.
Related news categories: business economic-indicators misc

SBP reserves rise $13m to $12.8b
The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank increased 0.1% on a weekly basis, according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Thursday. On September 11, the foreign currency reserves held by the SBP were recorded at $12,820.4 million, up $13 million compared with $12,807.8 million in the previous week. The central bank cited no reason for the increase in reserves. Overall, liquid foreign currency reserves held by the country, including net reserves held by banks other than the SBP, stood at $19,959 million. Net reserves held by banks amounted to $7,138.6 million. Pakistan received the first loan tranche of $991.4 million from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on July 9 last year, which helped bolster the reserves. In late December, the IMF released the second loan tranche of around $454 million.
Related news categories: business economic-indicators misc

FDI falls to 12-month low
The foreign investment flow to Pakistan slowed down to a 12-month low at $112.3 million in August 2020 mainly due to subdued economic activities and recession in many European countries, which were a rich source of investment into Pakistan. “Many European countries, including Spain, France and the UK, are facing a second wave of Covid-19 with the reopening of their economies,” Arif Habib Limited Head of Research Tahir Abbas said while talking to The Express Tribune. Foreign direct investment (FDI) remained significantly low in Pakistan in August 2020 compared to an average of over $200 million a month in the previous fiscal year ended June 30, 2020. The investment, however, was 24% higher compared to $90.9 million in August last year, according to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).
Related news categories: business economic-indicators misc

Business Power consumers to get Rs231b relief
ISLAMABAD: The government is set to pass a relief of Rs231 billion to power consumers during the reform process over the next three years following a reduction in the rate of return for state-owned power plants and a change in the structure of liquefied natural gas (LNG)-based power plants. Sources told The Express Tribune that the government had worked out an impact of Rs100 billion for the next three years on account of reduction in the return for government-owned independent power producers (IPPs), Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) projects and Gencos. Separately, an impact of over Rs131 billion due to reduction in fuel cost has been calculated in the end-consumer tariff due to change in the structure of LNG-based power plants. Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar informed Prime Minister Imran Khan and cabinet members about the issue in a recent meeting of the cabinet.
Related news categories: business economic-indicators misc power-gen-dist helpline: +92-42-3631-4186 (10:30am to 5:30pm)