Bulls continued to dominate at the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX), as its benchmark KSE-100 Index hit a new peak on Thursday.
At close, the benchmark index settled at 64,718.08, up by 800.35 points or 1.25%.
At around 12pm during trading on Thursday, the KSE-100 was hovering at 64,958.10 level, an increase of over 1,000 points or 1.6%. However, profit-taking pushed the index to an intra-day low of 63,853.04.
Nevertheless, bulls returned to the bourse in the later part of trading, and by 3pm, the index was hovering at 64,907.97 with an intra-day gain of 990.25 points or 1.55%.
“A bit of profit taking was witnessed earlier, which was expected, however the overall sentiment in the market remains bullish,” Sana Tawfik, economic analyst at Arif Habib Limited (AHL), told Business Recorder.
Across-the-board buying was witnessed in index-heavy sectors including cement, chemical, commercial banks, fertiliser, OMCs and power generation and distribution sectors.
On Wednesday, the PSX had witnessed another positive session as the benchmark KSE-100 settled at 63,917.72, up by 961.70 points or 1.53%.
The ongoing momentum comes on the back of improvement in economic indicators after Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) authorities reached an agreement on the first review of the Stand-By Agreement (SBA) last month.
Market players and the government now expect to get an IMF board approval this month, which would pave the way for inflows from other multilateral and bilateral partners.
“We believe this positive sentiment, if maintained, is likely to be capitalised by companies wishing to access external capital; which will lead to an uptick in companies applying to be listed at the PSX in 2024,” said Topline Securities in a recent report.
The positive momentum has helped the KSE-100 rally nearly 60% in 2023 with most of the growth coming after Pakistan reached an understanding at a staff-level with the IMF in June-end.
Additionally, the expectations that interest rates have peaked and stability in the exchange rate over the past couple of months have also heightened perception that ‘bad days’ for the economy are now over.
Many players also believe consolidation is likely in the near term with profit-taking sporadically causing a slowdown.
Meanwhile, the rupee maintained its upward trajectory against the US dollar for the eighth successive session as it appreciated a marginal 0.01% in the inter-bank market on Thursday. As per the State Bank of Pakistan, the local unit settled at 284.12 after an increase of Re0.02.
Volume on the all-share index jumped to 1,316.5 million from 984.8 million a session before.
The value of shares rose to Rs37.18 billion from Rs35.09 billion in the previous session.
K-Electric Ltd remained the volume leader with 246 million shares, followed by Cnergyico PK with 98.9 million shares and Hascol Petrol with 60.5 million shares.
Shares of 402 companies were traded on Thursday, of which 216 registered an increase, 167 recorded a fall, while 19 remained unchanged.