After back to back dull sessions, the Pakistan Stock Exchange’s (PSX) benchmark KSE-100 Index saw a brief rally towards the end of trading on Thursday, as investors weighed an announcement by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) that general elections in the country would take place in last week of January 2024.
Trading at the KSE-100 remained range-bound most part of the day, but witnessed a boost after the electoral watchdog unveiled the election week.
At close, the benchmark index settled at 46,202.13, with an increase of 312.55 points or 0.68%. Previously, the KSE-100 had found the 46,000-point barrier difficult to sustain.
“The equity market witnessed positive momentum today [Thursday] following the ECP’s announcement of holding elections in last week of January 24,” brokerage house Ismail Iqbal Securities stated in its post-market report.
Commercial banks, cement, and oil & gas exploration companies sectors were major contributors as they cumulatively added 234 points to the index, the brokerage house said.
On Wednesday, the KSE-100 had closed nearly flat as investor sentiment remained weak amid lack of positive triggers.
In first three days of the week, investors mostly remained on the sidelines as the market awaited triggers that could boost sentiment.
However, the ECP’s announcement that general elections to be held in the last week of January 2024 provided some level of clarity.
In a statement shared on X (formerly Twitter), the commission also said it has decided to publish the initial list for the delimitation of constituencies on September 27.
Meanwhile, the Pakistani rupee continued to appreciate for the 12th successive session against the US dollar, gaining 0.38% in the inter-bank market on Thursday. As per the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the rupee settled at 292.78 after an increase of Rs1.1 in the inter-bank market.
Volume on the all-share index increased to 172.16 million from 129.37 million on Wednesday.
The value of shares rose to Rs5.345 billion from Rs3.64 billion in the previous session.
SEARLR2 remained the volume leader with 25.2 million shares, followed by Maple Leaf with 15.3 million shares and WorldCall Telecom with 7.6 million shares.
Shares of 327 companies were traded on Thursday, of which 195 registered an increase, 102 recorded a fall, and 30 remained unchanged.