SBP increases discount and bank interest
The benchmark KSE 100-Index shed 347 points to close at 13627 speculations about stringent economic measures by the central bank triggered selling in banking and insurance stocks. Share prices at the Karachi stock exchange fell more than 2 percent, as the market remained jittery on expectations of a discount rate hike — amid heavy selling after downgrade in country-ratings on Wednesday.
State Bank of Pakistan increased the discount rate by 150 basis points and bank interest rate by 1.5 percent here Thursday. According to Governor SBP, Dr. Shamshad Akhtar the bank will give 5 percent mark up on Profit and Loss Savings accounts from June 1, 2008. She was addressing a press conference here.
Crude oil soared in the international market to a fresh record high above $135 per barrel on Thursday as a surprise drawdown in U.S. crude oil inventories and a weaker dollar prompted heavy fund inflows into the market. Investment funds flocked into the market based on its strong performance, with key U.S. crude oil having surged more than 20 percent since the start of the month and geopolitical and supply concerns keeping traders reluctant to sell.-SANA