Amidst soaring optimism

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The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) witnessed a remarkable surge on the first working of the current week, with a gain of 1,136 points propelling the benchmark KSE-100 index to an impressive 62,828, breaking through the 63,000 barriers. This substantial uptrend follows a substantial 16 percent return in November, marking the highest since March 2009, excluding the anomaly of April 2020’s post-Covid spike at 16.7 percent. In the aftermath of the pandemic-induced downturn, the market’s journey has been tumultuous, grappling with political instability amid strong financial performances by listed firms. However, for the first time in years, the market seems to be aligning with the positive trajectory of listed companies.
According to a news report on these pages, the recent market surge can be attributed to several factors. The anticipation of future interest rate cuts, improved exchange rates due to actions against illegal forex activities, declining petrol prices, and bilateral economic cooperation agreements with China have fueled investor confidence. Furthermore, the market’s peak, the highest in over six years, was boosted by the announcement of a national election date and optimism surrounding potential recommendations from IMF officials for the release of the next tranche of a loan.
The forthcoming election, scheduled for February 8, 2024, has infused a palpable sense of optimism among market experts. They predict the KSE-100 to close at an ambitious 81,259 points by December 2024, offering an enticing 32 percent upside from the index’s December 1, 2023, closing. Investors are buoyed by the hope that the election date and the release of required funds signal a prospect of political stability and reduced economic uncertainty under a new government.
Currently experiencing a buying spree driven by both local and international investors, the PSX appears to be riding a wave of positivity. As the market continues to respond to economic indicators and geopolitical developments, the outlook suggests that Pakistan’s stock market may be on the cusp of a sustained upward trend.