- Momentum comes on the back of improved economic indicators
The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) continued its merry run as the benchmark KSE-100 index hit a new high on Friday.
At close, the benchmark index settled at 66,223.63, up by 1,505.56 points or 2.33%.
Earlier during the day, the index crossed the 66,000 level. However, the market lost a bit of steam in the second half of the trading session as it resorted to profit-taking.
Regardless, bulls returned to the stock market in the last hour of trading and the benchmark index hit an intra-day high of 66,273.73.
Across-the-board buying was witnessed in index-heavy sectors including cement, chemical, commercial banks, fertiliser, oil and gas exploration companies, OMCs and power generation and distribution sectors.
On Thursday, the PSX had witnessed another positive session as the benchmark KSE-100 settled at settled at 64,718.08, up by 800.35 points or 1.25%.
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.
In a key development, it was learnt that IMF’s executive board will meet on January 11 to consider the final approval to disburse the next $700 million tranche from its current loan programme with Pakistan, reported Bloomberg quoting an unnamed spokeswoman.
Business Recorder reached out to Esther Pérez Ruiz, the IMF Resident Representative in Pakistan, but a response was awaited.
Commenting on the recent performance of the bourse, former finance minister Miftah Ismail said the ongoing bullish trend suggests that the economic situation in the country is expected to improve in the coming months.
“The stock exchange index is considered a leading economic indicator,” said Miftah in a post on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter. “It generally goes up a few months before a pick-up in economic activity (expansion) and goes down a few months before an economic downturn (recession).”
“This would then suggest that we have seen the bottom of our economic cycle and hopefully the economic situation will improve,” he added.
Meanwhile, the rupee continued uptrend against the US dollar for the ninth consecutive session as it appreciated a marginal 0.09% in the inter-bank market on Friday. As per the State Bank of Pakistan, the local unit settled at 283.87 after an increase of Re0.25.
Volume on the all-share index increased to 1,329.5 million from 1,316.5 million a session before.
The value of shares decreased to Rs33.3 billion from Rs37.1 billion in the previous session.
K-Electric Ltd. remained the volume leader with 342.5 million shares, followed by WorldCall Telecom with 98.5 million shares and P.T.C.L. with 58.7 million shares.
Shares of 395 companies were traded on Friday, of which 257 registered an increase, 127 recorded a fall, while 11 remained unchanged.