Sunday April 21, 2024

PSX leaps over 1,000 points, investors rally on IMF hopes

By Our Correspondent
March 15, 2024
A person can be seen in the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) in this undated photo. —AFP/FIle
A person can be seen in the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) in this undated photo. —AFP/FIle 

Stocks witnessed a robust recovery on Thursday, with the benchmark KSE-100 index surging by 1.59 percent amid investor optimism following talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), dealers said.

The Pakistan Stock Exchange's benchmark index gained 1,015.82 points to close at 65,064.27 points, buoyed by positive sentiments over the country's economic discussions with the IMF. The KSE-30 index also rose by 248.29 points or 1.16 percent to 21,712.26 points.

Analyst Ahsan Mehanti from Arif Habib Ltd attributed the sharp market recovery to declining PIB yields and a strengthening rupee, spurred by hopes of a successful IMF review.

Mehanti said the Ministry of Finance's announcement that it had met all IMF targets for the second review under the Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) program, unlocking a $1.1 billion tranche, acted as a catalyst for the bullish sentiment at the PSX.

Traded shares increased by 63 million shares to 315.247 million shares from 252.751 million shares. The trading value rose to Rs10.487 billion from Rs9.247 billion. Market capital expanded to Rs9.246 trillion against Rs9.107 trillion. Of 336 companies active in the session, 248 closed in green, 72 in red and 16 remained unchanged.

Several sectors, including exploration & production (E&P), automotive, banking, and technology, contributed negatively to the index performance, with companies such as MARI, PPL, MTL, PSO, TRG, and HBL collectively shedding 266 points.

Naveed Nadeem of Topline Securities said Investor optimism is fuelled by expectations of a positive outcome from the meeting with the IMF. The recent PIB auction also hinted at a potential interest rate cut, further fueling investor confidence, he added.

As a result, OGDC, PPL, MARI, MEBL, and PSO collectively contributed 366 points to the index. The highest increase was recorded in Mari Petroleum Company Limited shares, which rose by Rs72.51 to Rs2,430.11 per share, followed by Nestle Pakistan Limited, which increased by Rs69.12 to Rs7,500 per share. A significant decline was noted in Ismail Industries Limited, which fell by Rs90 to Rs1,110 per share, followed by Philip Morris (Pakistan) Limited, which closed lower by Rs18.60 to Rs710.10 per share.

Brokerage Arif Habib Ltd said the "general election cap" continues to assert its significance in the the market, as it pushed prices back above the 65,000 points mark.

Notably, the technology sector maintained its momentum, with notable performers including PTC (+7.55 percent), AIRLINK (+6.94 percent), and SYS (+2.08 percent).

Looking ahead, market analysts identify the 66,000 points level as a key hurdle to overcome in the near term. "Successfully surpassing this resistance level is anticipated to pave the way for the market to achieve new all-time highs, signalling continued bullish sentiment in the market," the brokerage said.

WorldCall Telecom remained the volume leader with 42.747 million shares which closed higher by 8 paisas to Rs1.35 per share. Cnergyico PK followed it with 36.111 million shares, which closed higher by 46 paisas to Rs5.09 per share.

Other significant turnover stocks included Kohinoor Spining, K-Electric Ltd., Pak Refinery, Hascol Petrol, Telecard Limited, PTCL, Bank of Punjab and Air Link Commun. In Future Market, 328 companies recorded trading, of which 277 increased, 46 decreased and 5 remained unchanged.