January 5, 2011 / 12:00 PM / 8 years ago

Pakistan stocks gain; security concern limits rise

* Gain prompted by optimism on corporate earnings

* Political, security tensions keep lid on stocks rise

KARACHI, Jan 5 (Reuters) - Pakistani stocks ended up on Wednesday, led by middle-tier shares on hopes of healthy earnings, while dealers said gains were limited on security and political concerns after a senior government figure was killed.

Salman Taseer, the Punjab province governor and a liberal politician close to President Asif Ali Zardari, was killed in Islamabad on Tuesday by one of his guards, apparently incensed by the victim’s opposition to the blasphemy law.

The Karachi Stock Exchange's benchmark 100-share index .KSE ended 0.25 percent, or 30.58 points, up at 12,140.84 on turnover of 168.22 million shares.

“The local bourse remained rangebound amid uncertainty on the political front,” said Samar Iqbal, dealer at Topline Securities Ltd.

“Institutions were active on lower levels amid hopes the upcoming results and payouts would be better than expected.”

Corporate results for the quarter ended Dec. 31 are due to be announced in coming weeks.

Taseer’s killing has deepened a political crisis. It came two days after a main partner in Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani’s coalition bolted for opposition in protest over fuel price policies, leaving him without a parliamentary majority.[ID:nSGE70403O]

In the currency market, the rupee PKR= ended at 85.74/79 to the dollar, weaker than Tuesday's close of 85.66/72, amid increased import payments as international oil prices hit a 27-month high this week, dealers said.

In the money market, overnight rates at the top level of 13.90 percent compared with Tuesday’s close of around 12.50 percent, amid increased liquidity in the interbank market.

(Reporting by Sahar Ahmed; editing by David Hulmes)

For more Reuters coverage of Pakistan, see: here

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