The recent surge in the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX), marked by the KSE-100 index’s impressive gain of 1,580 points, reflects a robust start to 2024. This positive momentum builds upon the market’s upward trajectory in 2023, where the KSE 100 Index experienced a significant turnaround, yielding a remarkable 55% return in Rupee terms.
Several factors contribute to the buoyancy in the Pakistani stock market. Notably, the strengthening local currency, with the Pakistani Rupee holding its ground against the US Dollar and other currencies, has played a pivotal role. Additionally, a decline in fuel prices has further supported economic stability. The gold rate standing at Rs219,200 per tola for 24-carat gold on the first trading day of 2024 reinforces this economic stability.
The turnaround in 2023 was fueled by the resumption of the IMF program and a smooth transition of power to the interim government, boosting investor confidence. The market continued its upward trend, reaching an all-time high of 66,426 in December. Foreign portfolio investment also saw a significant influx during the year.
Looking ahead, influences and expectations shape the market’s optimism. The energy sector’s performance, anticipated dividend payouts, and the government’s commitment to tackling circular debt contribute to positive investor sentiment. Expectations of increased institutional investment in equities, driven by prospects of monetary easing in the coming months, add to the positive outlook.
The Central Bank’s announcement of a substantial rise in foreign exchange reserves, reaching $7.8 billion in late December, further supports market confidence. This increase is attributed to financial backing from both bilateral and multilateral sources, underlining external support for Pakistan’s economic stability.
In conclusion, the PSX’s recent surge builds on a strong foundation established in 2023, reflecting economic revival and positive investor sentiment driven by various factors, including currency stability, declining fuel prices, and promising government initiatives.