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PSX gains 500 points over hopes for thaw in political deadlock

The stock market witnessed a positive momentum on Thursday with the KSE-100 index soaring more than 500 points as political temperatures cooled in the country after Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan backtracked on his decision to remain in Islamabad until the announcement of elections.

According to the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) website, the benchmark index was up by 527.02 points, a change of 1.25 per cent, shortly after 3:30pm. It closed at 42,541.71 points, up by 529.05 points or a change of 1.26pc.

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Ali Malik, chief executive of First National Equities Limited, said that the stock market had seen an improvement on the back of the hope that political matters would be settled through dialogue.

“It is hoped that the government and the opposition will soon reach an agreement regarding early elections which would end the uncertain political situation in the country,” he said. Raza Jaffrey, head of research at Intermarket Securities, said the market “took heart from the end of street confrontations which provides time for negotiations” between the government and the PTI.

He added that while talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) were inconclusive, the seventh review was still open and revival of the loan programme was possible if Pakistan fulfilled the necessary conditions.

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“These are the same two risks that have plagued the market in the recent past and may arguably have been priced in already with hope for improvement going forward,” he said.

Arif Habib Corporation’s Ahsan Mehanti said the stock market closed bullish after PTI protesters called off the Islamabad sit-in, and a round of talks with the IMF which set up targets for the next financial year and for easing off fuel subsidies.



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