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Pakistan Stock Exchange’s Benchmark Index Approaches 66,000 Mark as Shehbaz Sharif Assumes PM Role

On Monday, the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) experienced a robust surge, with the benchmark KSE-100 index gaining over 600 points, reaching close to the 66,000 mark. This notable uptick coincided with the commencement of Shehbaz Sharif’s second term as the Prime Minister of Pakistan, representing the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party.

The PSX reported a 0.96% increase, with the KSE-100 index rising by 626.04 points to settle at 65,951.72. Key contributors to this positive momentum included sectors like oil and gas exploration, power generation, distribution, cement, oil and gas marketing, as well as technology and communication.

Analysts attribute these market gains to the clarity in the government’s formation. Earlier in the day, President Arif Alvi administered the oath of office to Shehbaz Sharif, the younger brother of Nawaz Sharif. Shehbaz secured 201 votes in the prime ministerial election held on Sunday.

Furthermore, the market sentiment was buoyed by a lower headline inflation reading for February, fostering optimism that the central bank of Pakistan might initiate its monetary easing cycle sooner than anticipated.

In the stock market, 355 companies participated in trading, with 184 of them witnessing gains, 150 sustaining losses, and 21 maintaining unchanged share prices. The top three trading companies were Kohinoor Spinning, WorldCall Telecom, and K-Electric.

Mari Petroleum experienced the highest increase in share price, rising by Rs 68.45 to close at Rs 2,530.50. Bhanero Textile Limited followed with a Rs 55.62 increase, reaching Rs 1,050.00 per share. Conversely, Rafhan Maize Products Company Limited saw the most significant decrease, with a Rs 213.38 decline in share price, closing at Rs 8,636.72. Philips Morris Pakistan Limited also observed a decrease of Rs 40.33, closing at Rs 731.67.

Globally, Asian share markets showed resilience on Monday, with the Nikkei reaching a new high. Investors are gearing up for a week filled with central bank events and significant data releases that will shape market expectations regarding the timing of potential interest rate changes. The focus will be on Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s testimony before lawmakers on Wednesday and Thursday, with analysts anticipating a cautious approach given recent surprises in inflation data.

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