- Index up 743.27 points as experts say appreciation of rupee, hopes of revival of IMF programme acted as positive trigger for investors
The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) enjoyed an upbeat session on Thursday and the KSE-100 Index rose over 700 points amid hopes that the much-needed International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme will be revived soon.
In addition, the ongoing recovery in rupee against the dollar further aided the rise.
By the end of the day, the KSE-100 Index was up 743.27 points or 1.78% to close at 42,466.59 points, the highest level since September 1, 2022 when it closed at 42,460.08 points.
Trading began with an increase and the market maintained uptrend throughout the session.
Across-the-board buying was witnessed with index heavy sectors including, automobile, cement, chemical, commercial banks, and OMCs trading in green.
Experts attribute the positive trend to expectations of the revival of the IMF bailout programme.
Speaking to Business Recorder, Ismail Iqbal Securities Head of Research Fahad Rauf said that “the market is expecting news of the resumption of IMF programme very soon. This is the reason why there has been persistent optimism.”
“Earlier, oil and gas sectors attracted buying activity but now the ripple effect is being seen in other sectors as well,” he said, adding that the resolution of the circular debt in gas sector “has brought related sectors in the limelight.”
Pushed to the brink by last year’s devastating floods, Pakistan has reserves of just over $3 billion remaining, or barely enough for three weeks of essential imports.
In a key development, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said on Thursday negotiations between Pakistan and the IMF are “on track” and “we will announce good news soon”.
Speaking to media, Dar said talks between the two sides had entered the final round, progress has been “satisfactory” and he hoped discussions will wrap up today.
Earlier, Minister of State for Finance Dr Aisha Ghaus Pasha had said on Wednesday that some understanding has been reached with the Fund and some clearance has also been secured at the prime minister level.
The country desperately needs the IMF to release an overdue tranche of $1.1 billion, leaving $1.4 billion remaining in a stalled bailout programme set to end in June.
Meanwhile, the government in its bid to appease the international lender has free-floated the exchange rate, which resulted in a massive rupee depreciation, and also hiked up fuel prices. Further tax measures are apparently also imminent.
A report from Capital Stake noted that positive sentiment prevailed at the PSX for the fourth consecutive session.
“Indices accumulated gains for most of the day while volumes surged from the last close,” it said. “The appreciation of rupee as well as hopes of the revival of much-needed IMF programme acted as a positive trigger for investors.”
On the economic front, the rupee gained Rs2.82 or 1.03% against the US dollar on to close at Rs270.5.
Sectors lifting the benchmark KSE-100 index higher included banking (210.57 points), oil and gas exploration (152.00 points) and cement (107.78 points).
Volume on the all-share index jumped to 367.4 million from 297.8 million on Wednesday. The value of shares increased to Rs13.5 billion from Rs12.1 billion recorded in the previous session.
WorldCall Telecom was the volume leader with 35.2 million shares followed by Hascol with 25.3 million shares and Oil and Gas Development Company with 18.2 million shares.
Shares of 352 companies were traded on Thursday, of which 243 registered an increase, 86 recorded a fall and 23 remained unchanged.