- Benchmark index rises 1.87% to close just below 39,800
Positive momentum continued at the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) amid hopes of a revival of the stalled International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme, as the benchmark KSE-100 Index settled with a gain of over 700 points, while both volume and value of shares traded increased on Wednesday.
The KSE-100 index opened in the green zone and reached an intra-day high of 39,946.59, an increase of nearly 900 points before retreating slightly.
At close on Wednesday, the benchmark index settled with a gain of 729.25 points or 1.87% at 39,784.90.
Across-the-board buying was seen with index-heavy sectors including automobile, cement, chemical, commercial banks, fertiliser, oil & gas settling in the green.
Experts attributed the sentiment to reports suggesting Pakistan is willing to implement all prerequisites of the IMF to revive the stalled programme.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said the IMF has been given a clear message that the government is ready to sit and negotiate with the Fund on its conditionalities to conclude the ninth review.
The prime minister said the government has already written to the IMF and wants to complete the ninth review without further delay so that the bailout as well as programmes of multilaterals and bilateral can move ahead.
Experts have said the resumption of the IMF programme is critical for the battered economy.
“The news pertaining to the IMF that the lender is willing to meet Pakistan has led to this optimistic sentiment. Moreover, corporate result season has commenced, which has added to the positivity,” Sana Tawfik, a research analyst at Arif Habib Limited (AHL), told Business Recorder.
She said that the SBP Governor Jameel Ahmad’s earlier announcement that the central bank had repaid loans to the tune of $9 billion, while $6 billion have been rolled over has given a breather to the market.
“The momentum is expected to continue as corporate results being announced are positive,” she added.
Topline Securities, in its report, said it was a positive day for Pakistan equities.
“The aforesaid bullish sentiment is attributed to PM’s stance that the government will try to meet all the prerequisite conditions to bring IMF on table for the resumption of 9th review.”
“Investors opted to do value hunting across the board especially in selected stocks of fertiliser, bank & tech,” it added.
On the economic front, Pakistani rupee continued to fall against the US dollar for the 26th successive session as it depreciated Re0.49 or 0.21% in the inter-bank market to close at 230.89.
Sectors driving the benchmark index upwards included banking (286.34 points), fertilizer (107.10 points) and oil & gas exploration (99.92 points).
Volume on the all-share index increased to 269.5 million from 179.8 million on Tuesday. The value of shares inched up to Rs10.6 billion from Rs6.4 billion recorded in the previous session.
WorldCall Telecom was the volume leader with 20.62 million shares, followed by TPL Properties with 14.46 million shares and Pak Petroleum Limited with 13.28 million shares.
Shares of 339 companies were traded on Wednesday, of which 225 registered an increase, 92 recorded a fall and 22 remained unchanged.