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Pakistan’s Stocks Rally Most Since July on Opposition Support

Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Pakistan’s stocks rose the most in more than six months as confidence in the government rose after opposition parties rejected yesterday demands by a cleric for parliament to be sacked.

The benchmark Karachi Stock Exchange 100 Index gained 1.2 percent to 16,374.66 as of 11:58 p.m. in Karachi. The gauge was poised for its biggest advance since July 2. National Bank of Pakistan, the country’s biggest lender by assets, climbed 2.3 percent, the most since Nov. 30. Oil & Gas Development Co., the nation’s biggest explorer, added 1.3 percent.

Opposition parties led by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz have refused to render support to Tahir-ul-Qadri, a cleric who has gathered thousands of supporters on the streets in the capital Islamabad calling for reforms.

“The announcement by the opposition parties yesterday has rallied confidence among investors,” Faisal Bilwani, head of international equity sales at Elixir Securities Pakistan Ltd. in Karachi, said by phone. “The understanding between the opposition and government is what is causing the rise.”

The KSE 100 Index tumbled the most in 17 months on Jan. 15 after the nation’s Supreme Court ordered the arrest of Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf amid allegations of graft. The chairman of the anti-corruption agency told the chief justice today there isn’t enough evidence to arrest Ashraf and others accused of graft in awarding power contracts.

To contact the reporter on this story: Khurrum Anis in Karachi at kkhan14@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Darren Boey at dboey@bloomberg.net

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