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Extending a rally from the previous day, the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) closed higher for a third consecutive session as investor confidence was boosted by the government's announcement to further increase fuel prices in order to appease the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The benchmark KSE-100 Index registered a gain of 291 points on Thursday, while volume and value of shares traded improved.

KSE-100 Index stayed in the green zone throughout the day, taking the index to hit an intra-day high of 41,764.19 up by 325 points. The index gained 291.37 points or 0.70% to close at 41,730.16 points.

A report from Topline Securities said that the positivity at bourse was due to actions taken by the government like increasing petrol and diesel prices, coupled with an amendment in tax relief provided to the salaried class in order to meet IMF's conditions.

On the economic front, the rupee closed at 207.67 against the US dollar in the inter-bank market as post-budget uncertainty and the biggest rate hike announced by the US central bank since 1994 took a toll on the currency market.

On the corporate front, MCB announced it has injected capital of Rs4 billion in its wholly-owned subsidiary MCB Islamic Bank Limited, after approval from the State Bank of Pakistan.

KSE-100 up amid hopes of Pakistan's removal from FATF grey list

Sectors driving the KSE-100 index upwards included oil and gas exploration (62.71 points), cement (57.24 points) and power generation and distribution (54.94 points).

Volume on the all-share index increased to 162.18 million from 141.7 million on Wednesday. The value of shares traded marginally improved rose to Rs4.78 billion from Rs4.76 billion recorded in the previous session.

WorldCall Telecom was the volume leader with 21.55 million shares, followed by Oilboy Energy(R) with 11.4 million shares, and Maple Leaf with 10.23 million shares.

Shares of 336 companies were traded on Thursday, of which 173 registered an increase, 134 recorded a fall, and 29 remained unchanged.

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