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PSX blasts off to new record high of 67,756 points

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A woman takes pictures of the electronic board displaying data at the Pakistan Stock Exchange in Karachi, on December 21, 2022. — PPI
A woman takes pictures of the electronic board displaying data at the Pakistan Stock Exchange in Karachi, on December 21, 2022. — PPI
  • Transport, tech, communication, banking sectors also rallied.
  • Analysts say privatisation push catalysed investor confidence.
  • AHL upbeat cement, steel sectors to outperform in 2nd quarter.

Pakistan’s stock market blasted off to yet another all-time high on Wednesday betting on upbeat economic indicators as a downtick in inflation stoked hopes of monetary loosening — a major stimulus to commercial activity, which is directly proportional to corporate profits.

Pakistan Stock Exchange’s (PSX) benchmark KSE-100 index ended at 67,756.03 after jumping by a massive 869.77 points or 1.30%.

The cyclic sector stole the show on Wednesday as investors parked a lot of money in the cement and steel companies, mainly after reports of a rise in local and international cement dispatches for March. 

However seectors like transport, technology and communication and commercial banking, also remained on investors’ radar.

Moreover, the government’s privatisation plans especially its initiative to sell off some State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) fed the market with optimism as the consensus is that these companies would turn around in terms of profitability and efficiency under private ownership.

It must be noted that the Privatisation Commission on Tuesday opened the door for selling off Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), inviting expressions of interest (EOIs) from potential buyers.

“Confidence (is) further improving after good progress on privatisation along with foreign portfolio investment in government papers,” said Mohammed Sohail, CEO of brokerage house Topline Securities, in a note during intra-day trading. 

“Cements stocks are (also) in limelight amid expectations of rate cut in coming months,” he said.

Brokerage Arif Habib Limited (AHL) in its market wrap said strong moves in the cement sector saw the KSE-100 push further into unchartered territory.

“As many as 67 stocks rose while 24 fell with Engro (+4.88%), Engro Fertilizer (+3.9%), and Lucky Cement (+4.78%) emerging as the biggest contributors to index gains,” the brokerage said.

It further said the addition of the cement sector, which had been sideways since the start of the year, could add another dynamic to the bull market. “Cement and steel names are positioning themselves to potentially be outperformers in Q2,” the AHL report said.

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