Pakistan Stock Exchange Closes At Highest-Ever Level – OpEd

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At Pakistan Stock Exchange trading session during the week ended on April 19, 2024 remained erratic. However, concluded on a stronger note on the Friday with the benchmark index posted highest-ever closing at 70,909 points posting 0.85%WoW gain. 

Overall, average trading volume was reported at 492.37 million shares, up 43.51%WoW, clocking in at 2.46 billion shares, as compared to 1.72 billion shares traded in the earlier week.

The volatility may be attributed to the general uncertainty surrounding over international crude prices, primarily due to the ongoing rifts in the Middle East, with the tensions largely emanating due to the scuffle between Iran and Israel. The key highlight of the week was the successful visit of the Saudi delegation to Pakistan, promising major investments in various sectors. Additionally, KSA’s acquisition of a 25% minority stake in the Reqo Diq Mining project for US$1.0 billion appears to be progressing well, with the deal anticipated to finalize soon.

With regards to FIPI flows, net foreign investments remained consistent throughout the outgoing week, culminating to US$33.86 million by Friday close.

Finally, authorities repaid the maturing US$1.0 billion Eurobond on April 12th, resulting in the SBP’s FX reserves to end the week at US$8.0 billion. 

With regards to fuel price, Motor Gasoline and Diesel prices were raised, attributed to rising crude oil prices.

Other major news flows during the week included; 1) PIB sale falls short, yields dip on shorter maturities, 2) Pakistan claimed to complete gas pipeline project with Iran, 3) Wheat production target of 32.2 million tons set for the current season is at high risk due to rainfall, 4) Government does not anticipate any significant currency devaluation.

Sugar & Allied industries, Refinery, Synthetic & Rayon, Vanaspati & Allied Industries, Textile Weaving were amongst the top performing sectors, while laggards included Miscellaneous, Woolen, and Paper & Board. 

Major net selling was recorded by Individuals (US$14.43 million) & Banks (US$10.97 million). Brokers absorbed most of the local selling with a net buy of US$1.23 million. 

Top performing scrips of the week were: PSX, FABL, FATIMA, AKBL, NRL, while top laggards included: PTC, ISL, KTML, SEARL, and MUGHAL.

Going forward, market is expected to return its focus to negotiations with the IMF regarding The EFF program, upcoming monetary policy announcement, and the corporate results which are expected to be announced throughout the coming two weeks.

Despite the market reaching its new highest, the forward P/E continues to remain below 5.0x, which instills positivity regarding the market’s fundamentals.

Shabbir H. Kazmi

Shabbir H. Kazmi is an economic analyst from Pakistan. He has been writing for local and foreign publications for about quarter of a century. He maintains the blog ‘Geo Politics in South Asia and MENA’. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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