April,20(E. A Report) — Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) witnessed a bull run on Thursday as the benchmark KSE-100 Index gained over 500 points on the back of improved macroeconomic cues.
Current account surplus of March 2023 revived investors’ interest.
By the end of the session, the KSE-100 Index closed 508.48 points or 1.26% higher to settle at 41,007.82.
Following an upward open, the market rose steadily throughout the session.
Across-the-board buying was witnessed with index-heavy sectors including, automobile, cement, chemical, commercial banks and pharmaceuticals trading in the green.
Market experts attributed the positive sentiment to improved current account figures, as it was announced on Wednesday that the country’s current account hit a surplus of $654 million in March after a gap of over two years, supported by higher home remittances inflows and contraction in imports.
State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said the surplus was against a deficit of $36 million in February 2023. This was the first monthly surplus since November 2020.
Analysts said tighter monetary stance and fiscal measures along with administrative steps taken by the government have largely contributed to the lower current account deficit during this fiscal year.
“The impact of current account surplus drove the bullish sentiment,” Fahad Rauf, Head of Research at Ismail Iqbal Securities told.
“Moreover, the closing factor due to the upcoming Eid ul Fitr holidays also pushed the market higher,” he added.
The analyst said positive results from some companies also played its part.
“Engro Corporation, a major player at the PSX, announced an interim cash dividend of Rs40, which was a surprising development. Meanwhile, the results of Bank Al Habib Limited were also good,” added Rauf.
“Moreover, reports of Pakistan receiving discounted crude oil from Russia is also driving stock prices of refineries including Pakistan Refinery Limited,” he added.
Pakistan has placed its first order for discounted Russian crude oil under a new deal struck between Islamabad and Moscow, the country’s petroleum minister said, with one cargo to dock at Karachi port in May, Reuters reported on Thursday.
Meanwhile, investors are still awaiting resumption of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Extended Fund Facility (EFF), which has remained stalled since last year.
In its report, Capital Stake said that bulls of the PSX came back roaring on last trading session before Eid.
“Indices accumulated gains all day long, while volumes appreciated from last close,” it said.
Sectors lifting the benchmark KSE-100 higher included banking (169.84 points), fertiliser (150.73 points) and investment banking (68.26 points).
Volume on the all-share index jumped to 179.8 million from 84.2 million on Wednesday while the value of shares traded increased to Rs5.7 billion from Rs3.63 billion recorded in the previous session.
WorldCall Telecom was the volume leader with 22.2 million shares followed by Fauji Foods with 21.9 million shares and Pak Refinery with 11.5 million shares.
Shares of 309 companies were traded on Thursday, of which 192 registered an increase, 100 recorded a fall and 17 remained unchanged.