KARACHI: Pakistani stocks ended slightly lower on Thursday because of selling in the energy sector, but investors bought mid-tier shares on hopes of healthy corporate profits, dealers said, containing losses.
The Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) benchmark 100-share index closed 0.06 percent, or 8.48 points, lower at 13,929.47.
Volume was 182.59 million shares, compared with 261.5 million shares traded on Wednesday.
"Selling in E&P (Exploration and Production) stocks led the market to fall marginally," said Samar Iqbal, a dealer at Topline Securities.
Pakistan Oilfield shares ended 0.65 percent lower at 377.20 Pakistani rupees, while Oil and Gas Development Company stocks fell 0.76 percent to end at 165.02 rupees.
In currency market, the rupee ended almost flat at 90.71/76 to the dollar, compared with Wednesday's close of 90.71/74.
The rupee has been supported by remittances, 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 its monetary policy statement last Friday, the State Bank of Pakistan 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's close amid tight liquidity in the interbank market. AGENCIES