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The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX)) saw a return of somewhat optimistic sentiment as the benchmark KSE-100 Index gained 200 points on the opening day of the week with volume remaining lackluster.

During the previous week, the benchmark KSE-100 recorded a fall of 623.36 points or 1.43% as tensions flared on the political front, and the opposition’s planned no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan picked pace.

However, the benchmark index opened higher on Monday, staying in the green throughout the session to reach 43,387.50 (up 357 points) in intra-day trading.

At close, it ended with a gain of 200.25 points, or 0.47%, to settle at 43,230.22 as profit-booking kicked in the final half-hour.

“Pakistan equities commenced the week on an encouraging note on the back of (i) news flow regarding the resolution of Reko Diq dispute and (ii) better than expected Current Account Deficit (CAD) numbers for the month of February,” said Capital Stake in its post-market comment.

Pakistan’s current account deficit sharply declined by 78% during February 2022 compared to January 2022, mainly due to a lower import bill. The country posted a CAD of $545 million for the month of February 2022 as against $2.531 billion in January 2022.

In another major development, the federal and provincial government of Balochistan signed a new agreement with Barrick Gold Corporation of Canada for the extraction of gold and copper reserves from Reko Diq with an investment of $10 billion.

On the corporate front, K-Electric Limited informed that PSX that the first unit of 900 MW Combined Cycle Power Plant at Bin Qasim has been successfully connected to KE Grid (synchronized). “This project will positively contribute towards bridging the electricity demand-supply gap in KE’s service area,” read the notice.

Political uncertainty rattles Pakistan equities, KSE-100 falls 777 points

Sectors driving the benchmark upward included the fertiliser sector (66.36 points), cement (33.27 points) and banking (23.76 points).

Urea plants: uninterrupted gas supply ‘in the pipeline’

Volume on the all-share index decreased to 124.95 million, from 180.44 million on Friday. The value of shares traded also declined significantly to Rs3.93 billion from Rs6.39 billion recorded in the previous session.

Summit Bank was the volume leader with 16.07 million shares, followed by Hum Network with 8.92 million shares, and WorldCall Telecom with 7.97 million shares.

Shares of 317 companies were traded on Monday, of which 165 registered an increase, 126 recorded a fall, and 26 remained unchanged.

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