Political uncertainty leads to 330 points slump in KSE-100 Index

KARACHI: The Pakistan Stock Exchange managed to end the week with decent gains to reach four year high levels for the Benchmark KSE-100 Index and a historic high record for the daily trading volumes during the ended week. Telecom, cement and Banking stocks remained in limelight throughout the week.

The benchmark KSE-100 Index gained 1,211.31 points, advancing to 47,126.29 points at the end of the week from 45,914.98 points at the start on Monday. The benchmark Index touched such levels on June 12, 2017, at 47,671.80 points. “It was a record-making week driven mainly with positive developments at the corporate front,” Khurram Schezad, CEO Alpha Beta Core, said. “The telecom, cement and banks were the main driving force behind the rally.” In the telecom sector, WorldCall remained very active in hope of development on its acquisition by ARY Group, while the positive economic indicators and expectation of policy rate stability kept the cement and banking sectors active.

The positive news flow from the economic front such as an increase in the country’s foreign reserves, announcement of keeping the discount rate unchanged by the central bank and the favourable statement by the finance manager added to the investors’ confidence.

Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, Shaukat Tarin said Friday that he was supportive of adopting all those measures that could boost industrial development, generate employment and help in the expansion of businesses.

Meanwhile, political developments such as talks between Pakistan and Russia boosted investors’ interest in the market, traders and analysts said. Meanwhile, the situation on the COVID-19 front seems quite under control, with the grace of Allah, they added.

According to the latest figures shared by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the country’s forex reserves reached $23,015m. The reserves increased by $88m to $15,862m, due to the government’s official inflows, the central bank said in a statement. The central bank’s foreign exchange reserves, which closed above US$16bn are now on the highest level since July 2017.

The author is a senior business and economy journalist . He has worked for leading local and international news organisations.

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