KARACHI: Pakistani stocks ended higher on Wednesday on buying by investors expecting strong corporate earnings in the quarter ending March 30, dealers said.
The Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) benchmark 100-share index closed 1.26 percent higher, or 173.73 points, at 13,937.95.
Volume was 261.5 million shares, compared with 268.73 million shares traded on Tuesday.
"The market was bullish, with investor interest in stocks across the board on expectations of a strong earnings outlook," said Ahsan Mehanti, director at Arif Habib Corp.
Among the most active companies, volume leader Fauji Cement ended 0.14 percent lower at 7.10 rupees, Lafarge Pakistan rose 7.24 percent to close at 5.48 rupees and D.G. Khan Cement gained 4.98 percent to end at 41.49 rupees.
In currency market, the rupee ended weaker at 90.71/74 to the dollar, compared with Tuesday's close of 90.66/71 because of increased import payments.
The rupee had been supported recently by remittances from Pakistanis overseas, which rose 21.45 percent to $9.73 billion in the first nine months of the 2011/12 fiscal year, compared with $8.02 billion in the same period last year.
In March, remittances totaled $1.14 billion.
In Friday's monetary policy statement the central bank said the external sector was likely to remain under pressure because of both external debt payments and a lack of foreign aid.
Pakistan's current account deficit widened to a provisional $3.089 billion in the first nine months of the 2011/12 fiscal year, compared with $10 million over the same period in the previous year, the central bank said on Wednesday.
Overnight rates in the money market ended flat at 11.90 percent, unchanged from the previous day'