Pakistan Stock Exchange’s KSE-100 index maintained a bullish trend on Monday, increasing by more than 650 points during intraday trade to raise trade volume above 51,000 — the highest in six years.

Despite the trend, analysts cautioned that the market value of the stock market currently is still far below what was achieved in 2017, despite having a similar trade volume.

The index closed at 51,070.82, trading volume was up 338.96, or 0.67 per cent, from the previous close of 50,731.86, signifying improving sentiments of investors in the market.

The last time, the index traded above the 50,000 mark was in 2017 due to improving investor sentiments after the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor— unveiled in 2013 — picked up speed. The cement sector was a major player during the time.

The primary drivers behind the recent 2023 milestone remain uncertain given Pakistan’s economic malaise and uncertain political atmosphere, however, the rapid appreciation of the rupee in the month of September and the unchanged monetary policy in the wake of T-bill auction are cited as sources of this surge.

Major activity has been reported in sectors such as commercial banking, power, fertiliser, cement, exploration and production in the month of October.

However, according to Khurram Schehzad, the chief executive of financial consultancy firm Alpha Beta Core, “Market value, which matters the most to investors, is still below more than 70pc versus the value it achieved back then.”

He added that to achieve the actual performance of 2017, the index should cross 100,000 mark.

“It’s the value that matters to investors, not just the index. Index is more an indicator of the direction, which of course means investors are expecting some positive changes ahead.”

Raza Jafri, head of equity at brokerage company Intermarket Securities, said, “With the ECC (Economic Coordination Committee) reportedly meeting today to finalise an increase in gas prices, the energy sector is leading today’s gains.”

He added, “There is also a general feel-good factor on emerging political clarity, continued economic consolidation, and strong corporate profitability which is keeping bulls in play.”

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