KARACHI: Trading on the national bourse began on a negative note in the outgoing week owing to uncertainty over the outcome of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme as well as the upcoming meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee to revise the benchmark interest rate.

According to Arif Habib Ltd, the state of uncertainty put pressure on the rupee, which hit an all-time low of 202 against the dollar. Tensions rose on the political front as well with the PTI marching towards the capital to oust the government.

However, the situation took a positive turn when former prime minister Imran Khan called off the sit-in while promising to come back after six days should his demand for early polls remained unmet.

Investors’ confidence revived towards the end of the week when the government decided to hike petroleum prices by Rs30 per litre. The move paved the way for the resumption of the IMF programme and other avenues of foreign funding.

In other news, Saudi Arabia is reportedly in the final stages of extending the $3 billion deposit to Pakistan while Asian Development Bank is also set to fund projects worth $2bn.

According to JS Global, the stock market is likely to remain range-bound in coming sessions, thanks to the unending political noise.

Published in Dawn, May 29th, 2022

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