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Shares at PSX soar as IMF talks move forward

Shares at the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) soared on Wednesday buoyed by talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) moving forward.

The benchmark KSE-100 index was up by 802.72 points, or 1.8 per cent, by 1:20pm.

Head of Foreign Institutional Sales at Next Capital Limited, Muhammad Faizan, said the bullish trend was owed to better-than-expected current account deficit figures as well as the “positive news flow” from the IMF.

“It was a relief rally after the multiple stresses of the past few weeks. We have moved closer to the International Monetary Fund programme and there is an expectation that the episode of recent political noise will be resolved amicably,” Intermarket Securities Executive Director Raza Jafri said.

“Also, the United States sending an ambassador to Pakistan after a long gap is possibly being viewed positively,” he added.

On the sustainability of the recent upsurge, Jafri was of the view that it should continue in the near term.

The PSX had remained under pressure on Monday because of the delay in the conclusion of negotiations between the government and the IMF.

However, the stock market rallied on Wednesday following the return of Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue, Shaukat Tarin, to Washington to join the ongoing IMF discussions.

In Washington, Jihad Azour, director of IMF Middle East and Central Asia Department, told journalists on Tuesday that the talks between the Fund and the Pakistan government on the sixth review of the $6 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) had progressed to a “very good step”.

“The IMF mission to Pakistan and the authorities are currently in the process of the discussion around the sixth review of the programme. And the discussions are progressing around the various pillars of the programme and the measures that the government of Pakistan is currently contemplating,” he told the news briefing.

“The progress has gone [towards] a very good step and the mission, with the authorities, are going through the various details,” he added.

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