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Intra-day update: cement leads charge as KSE-100 crosses 72,000

پاکستان اسٹاک ایکسچینج

The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) continued to surpass new highs, as the benchmark KSE-100 index crossed the 72,000 level for the first time in history during intra-day trading on Wednesday.

At 11:00am, the benchmark index was hovering at 72,022.02 level, an increase of 662.62 points or 0.93%. It hit an intra-day high of 72,414.32 before retreating.

Buying was witnessed in key sectors including cement, commercial banks, oil and gas exploration companies, and OMCs, with index-heavy stocks including PPL, OGDC, PSO, SHEL trading in the green.

Market experts attributed the buying spree to improved economic indicators as the market expects a rate cut in the upcoming Monetary Policy Committee (MOC) meeting.

“Another record high at PSX with index gaining around 1000 points mainly led by institutional buying,” said Mohammed Sohail, CEO Topline Securities, in a note.

“After record current account surplus, investors now expecting a big fall in April’s CPI that may result in cut in interest rate in coming months,” he added.

Pakistan’s current account posted a surplus of $619 million in March 2024, a massive jump compared to the revised surplus of $98 million in the previous month, revealed data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Monday.

In a key development, the Economic Affairs Division (EAD) data revealed that the country borrowed $6.899 billion from multiple financing sources during the first nine months (July-March) of the current fiscal year 2023-24 compared to $7.764 billion borrowed during the same period of 2022-23.

On Tuesday, the PSX witnessed a range-bound session, as its benchmark KSE-100 Index closed marginally lower by 74 points at 71,359.41.

Globally, Asian stocks rose on Wednesday, tracking Wall Street, as an after-hours surge in shares of EV maker Tesla following its promise of new models, and upbeat earnings from some U.S. companies lifted risk sentiment.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 1.55%, having climbed 1% on Tuesday, as stocks rebounded from last week’s steep selloff. Japan’s Nikkei surged 2%.

China stocks were mixed, with the blue-chip index flat, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index added 1.6%.

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