Despite economic uncertainties, a shortened trading week at the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) finished on a good note, with the benchmark KSE-100 gaining 757 points or 1.7 percent to conclude at 45,578.36 points.
Investors were originally unfazed by the economic pessimism created by the extended discussions between Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund, and mood on the local stock exchange improved this week (IMF).
The market responded negatively to news of a delay in the commencement of the $6 billion IMF programme, which started the week on a low note. Furthermore, the rupee’s continuing devaluation against the US dollar, a large increase in gasoline costs, and poor economic statistics fueled the downward trend.
Due to the 12th Rabi ul Awal, the market was closed on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, trading resumed, with the market rallying as more information on the IMF talks became available. Jihad Azour, the Director of the IMF’s Middle East and Central Asia Department, stated that discussions between Pakistan and the IMF on the $6 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) are going “extremely well.”
Furthermore, a decrease in the current account deficit for September — which fell to $1.11 billion — fueled the upward trend.
On Thursday, the rise continued as optimistic news about Pakistan’s likely removal from the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) grey list, along with a slew of strong financial reports, boosted the investment atmosphere.
However, the penultimate trading session of the previous week ended in losses, as the FATF kept Pakistan on the grey list, despite “excellent progress” in completing the needed action items for removal from the list, contrary to market expectations.
The government secured LNG from Qatar to meet winter demand, Telecard Limited announced term finance certificate (TFC) structuring, Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDC) discovered gas reservoirs in Balochistan’s Kohlu district, auto financing reached a record high in September, and SBP foreign exchange reserves declined by $1.6 billion to $17.49 bill.
Foreign selling resumed this week, with a net sale of $7.3 million compared to a net sell of $13.3 million the week before. Fertiliser ($4.5 million) and commercial banks ($3.8 million) were among the items sold.
Insurance firms ($4.6 million) and other organisations ($2.5 million) made significant purchases on the home front.
The average volume moved during the week under review was 299 million shares, down 13% from the previous week, while the average value transacted was $64 million (up by 10 percent week-on-week).
The week’s top gainers and losers
Commercial banks (+463 points), cement (+184 points), oil and gas exploration companies (+137 points), fertiliser (+107 points), and insurance (+42 points) all contributed positively, whereas technology and communication (-155 points) and food and personal care products (-42 points) both contributed negatively (-31 points).
HBL (+187 points), UBL (+150 points), Engro Corporation (+99 points), Lucky Cement (+72 points), and MCB (+64 points) were the top scrip gainers. TRG Pakistan (-113 points), Pakistan State Oil (-27 points), and Systems Limited, on the other hand, were the biggest losers (-26 points).