Intra-day update: Bullish run at PSX, KSE-100 up over 600 points

Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) enjoyed a bullish run amid hopes the much-needed International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme will be revived soon, as the benchmark KSE-100 Index rose above 600 points during trading on Thursday.

At around 12:50 pm, the KSE-100 Index was trading at 42,332.14, indicating a gain of 608.82 points or 1.46%.

Across-the-board buying was witnessed with index heavy sectors including, automobile, cement, chemical, commercial banks, and OMCs trading in green.

Experts attribute the positive trend to expectations of the revival of the IMF bailout programme.

Speaking to Business Recorder, Ismail Iqbal Securities Head of Research Fahad Rauf said that “the market is expecting news of the resumption of IMF programme very soon. This is the reason why there has been persistent optimism.”

“Earlier, oil and gas sectors attracted buying activity but now, the ripple effect is being seen in other sectors as well,” he said. “Resolution of the circular debt in gas sector brought related sectors in the limelight.”

Pushed to the brink by last year’s devastating floods, Pakistan has reserves of just over $3 billion remaining, or barely enough for three weeks of essential imports.

Earlier, Minister of State for Finance Dr Aisha Ghaus Pasha stated that some understanding has been reached with the Fund and some clearance has also been secured at the prime minister level.

The country desperately needs the IMF to release an overdue tranche of $1.1 billion, leaving $1.4 billion remaining in a stalled bailout programme set to end in June.

Meanwhile, the government in its bid to appease the international lender has free-floated the exchange rate, which resulted in a massive rupee depreciation, and also hiked up fuel prices. Further tax measures are apparently also imminent.

This is an intra-day update