A stock broker watches share prices during a trading session at the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) in Karachi on July 31, 2023. — AFP

Stocks rallied Friday as the bulls pushed the market by over 300 points and it crossed the 50,700 barrier, its highest since May 2017, as investors seemed satisfied with the government’s focus on economic management.

The Pakistan Stock Exchange’s (PSX) benchmark KSE-100 index opened on a positive note and remained bullish throughout the day, with analysts citing a host of reasons — including a positive outcome of the monetary policy set to be announced on October 30.

PSX website showed that the market closed at 50,731.86 points after a gain of 366.71 or 0.71%, compared to the previous closing of 50,365.15 points. During the intraday trade, the stocks also hit 50,952.67 points.

In a note, Arif Habib Limited noted that the momentum remains strong and it seems inevitable that the 53,000 level will be breached.

Head of Equities at Intermarket Securities Raza Jafri told Geo.tv attributed the surge to the investors taking note of the government’s laser-sharp focus on economic management.

He mentioned that there is a growing belief that interest rates might not increase. The current policy rate stands at 22% — announced on September 14.

Jafri added that a successful International Monetary Fund (IMF) review would be a stamp of approval on the government’s economic policies, which can help the KSE-100 reach a new all-time high.

Capital market expert Saad Ali said that the rise in the market was broadly due to the rupee’s stability, while noting that the market seemed “less worried” about a possible delay in the elections.

“A bit early to say some optimism may be driven by Nawaz Sharif’s return. [The market has received] no negative news in the past two months and [investors] may be assuming that no further interest rate hikes [are in the offing in the near future,” he added.

Shares of 350 companies were traded during the session. At the close of trading, 188 scrips closed in the green, 145 in the red, and 17 remained unchanged.

Pak Refinery was the volume leader with 42.4 million shares traded, gaining Rs0.66 to close at Rs18.13. It was followed by K-Electric Ltd with 35.7 million shares traded, losing Rs0.11 to close at Rs3.26 and WorldCall Telecom with 31.02 million shares traded, remaining unchanged to close at Rs1.28.

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