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Saturday May 18, 2024

PSX rebounds from three-day losses on privatisation hopes

KSE-100 shares index gained 1244.45 points or 1.76% to finish at 71,902

By Web Desk
May 03, 2024
A broker looks at an index board showing the latest share prices at the Pakistan Stock Exchange in Karachi. — AFP/File
A broker looks at an index board showing the latest share prices at the Pakistan Stock Exchange in Karachi. — AFP/File

Stocks rallied on Friday reacting to government's privatisation push to sell loss-making public entities, central bank’s policy rate status quo, and International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) latest tranche, endng the rollover day on a high note, traders said.

Pakistan Stock Exchange's (PSX) benchmark KSE-100 shares index gained 1244.45 points or 1.76% to finish at 71,902.09. The index hit an intraday high of 71,986.43 (+1328.79) and a low of 70,671.72 (+14.08) points. The equities lost around 1,900 points in the last three straight sessions.

Raza Jafri, CEO, EFG Hermes Pakistan, said the market had reacted positively to April's CPI print, the lowest in about 2 years. “This opens prospects for monetary easing in the June MPC meeting,” Jafri said.

Economic stabilisation, manifesting in a benign outlook for the rupee, is also encouraging foreigners to enter the local equities market, he added.

Investors thronged the counters to take positions in high performing sectors like automobile manufacturing, cement, chemicals, commercial banking, oil and gas exploration, oil marketing companies, and refineries.

Stocks such as OGDC, PPL, DGKC, PSO, and SHEL remained in the limelight.

Brokerage Arif Habib Limited in a post-market note said a very strong recovery was observed. "With earnings season out of the way, the market can now focus on falling inflation and rate cuts," the brokerage said.

If the market breaches 71,200 points barrier, then 74,000 mark may not be that far, the brokerage added.

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) soared after reports that ten potential buyers have shown interest in buying the loss-making state-owned entity. Reports have it that Pakistani business mogul Arif Habib and the Gerry’s Group, are also vying for the PIA.

While the sale of the national carrier has historically been avoided by past elected administrations due to potential unpopularity, progress in privatisation efforts could facilitate cash-strapped Pakistan in engaging in further discussions for funding with the IMF.