KARACHI: The Pakistan Stock Exchange rallied over 500 points to reach an intra-day high of 37360.88 points on Friday, hours before the PML-N government is scheduled to unveil its budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

The index was up 441 points, or 1.2%, reaching 37,281 points an hour before closing.

Topline Securities CEO Muhammad Sohail, while talking to Dawn.com, said a major reason for the optimism in the market is the expectation that the upcoming budget will go easy on the stock market in terms of taxes.

“The general expectation is that unlike last year’s budget, this year the government is not going to levy additional taxes on the stock market.”

Also read: Tax collection rises, but falls far short of target.

Sohail went on to say the surge was also a result of positive net foreign buying over the past couple of days.

“Data from the past three days shows Pakistani stocks were on foreign investors’ radar which is why the index is rising today,” he said.

The upcoming MSCI review on June 14, when discussion on upgrading Pakistan’s status to an emerging market will take place, has also been bolstering stock prices in the past few weeks.

Market players anticipate a positive outcome from the meeting, with an improved status expected to bring in fresh foreign investment and opportunities for Pakistan in the future, Sohail said.

MSCI, a US-based provider of stock market indexes and portfolio analytics, had hinted last year that Pakistan’s inclusion in the Emerging Markets category will be discussed in June 2016.

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