Stocks maintain bullish momentum, gain 518 points

Shares at the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) extended gains on Thursday, with analysts attributing the positive sentiments to the rupee’s appreciation and expectations that the monetary policy would remain unchanged.

The benchmark KSE-100 index gained 517.57 points, or 1.24 per cent, to reach 42,128.99 points at 3:12pm.

Head of Research at Intermarket Securities, Raza Jafri, said lower T-bill yields and the rupee’s continued strength ahead of Monday’s monetary policy announcement by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) were leading the KSE-100 index higher.

“A potential softer stance by the IMF (International Monetary Fund), with the finance minister set to present Pakistan’s case in Washington next week, is also being watched,” he added.

AKY Securities Chief Executive Officer Amin Yousuf said the primary reason for the index’s rise was the rupee’s appreciation and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar’s statement that the dollar’s value would be brought down to Rs200.

He added that the market was expecting the interest rate to be maintained this time and a reduction when the SBP’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) met the next time, which was driving the index upwards.

“Stocks traded higher led by oil and cement scrips on strong valuations,” said Arif Habib Corporation’s Ahsan Mehanti.

The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) announcement of around $2.3-2.5 billion in aid and a narrower trade deficit in September played a catalyst role, he added.

Provisional data from the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics released earlier this week showed that the import bill fell by 19.72pc to $5.26bn in September from $6.56bn in the same month last year. On a month-on-month basis, the import bill declined by 13.21pc.

As a result of the decline in imports, the trade deficit in September fell by 30.62pc to $2.88bn this year from $4.15bn over the corresponding month last year.

First National Equities Limited Director Amir Shehzad said the market fundamentals appeared to be good and funds were being received for flood relief efforts.

“If things on the political side remain settled, the market can cross 45,000 points.”

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