August 27, 2012 / 12:10 PM / 7 years ago

Pakistan stocks end higher after court gives PM breathing space

KARACHI, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Pakistani stocks ended higher on Monday after the Supreme Court gave the prime minister breathing space in a case that could see him charged with contempt of court and disqualified.

The Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) benchmark 100-share index ended 0.88 percent, or 132.48 points, higher at 15,171.66, on volume of 14.84 million shares.

Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf appeared in court over his failure to comply with orders to reopen corruption cases against President Asif Ali Zardari.

The case has fuelled tension in a long-running standoff between the government and increasingly assertive judiciary. The court adjourned proceedings until Sept. 18.

It said Ashraf must ensure a letter is written to Swiss authorities asking them to reopen corruption cases against Zardari. Justice Asif Khosa said Ashraf did not have to write the letter himself. He could nominate someone else to write it.

“Markets have improved because the Supreme Court has given another few weeks to the prime minister. Investors believe this time may help in resolving the ongoing issue with the judiciary,” said Mohammad Sohail, chief executive at Topline Securities.

Pakistan Telecommunications Company Limited was the biggest winner in terms of volume, gaining 6.54 percent to close at 16.29 rupees.

In the currency market, the Pakistani rupee ended slightly higher at 94.80/94.85 to the dollar, compared to Friday’s close of 94.87/93.

Overnight rates in the money market ended at 7.5 percent, compared with 9.5 percent on Friday. (Reporting by Aisha Chowdhry)

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