Pakistan Stock Market Witnesses Modest Increase and Sectoral Shifts in March

Karachi, The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) saw a moderate growth in March, with the KSE-100 index closing up by 3.8% or 2,427 points, amid changes in government and economic policy.

According to JS Global, the KSE-100 index's performance reflected an eventful month characterized by the assumption of office by the new government and the successful conclusion of the second review of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Standby Arrangement (SBA). The market operated within a range of 3,094 points and saw year-to-date increases of 5.76% and 6.96% in the KSE-30 and KSE-100 indices, respectively.

Economic indicators such as a 1.0% year-over-year growth in GDP for the second quarter of fiscal year 2024 were highlighted, driven by a 5% growth in the agriculture sector but tempered by a 0.8% contraction in industrial activity. Privatization discussions, particularly around state-owned enterprises and the national flag carrier, PIA, spurred significant investor interest in the transport sector, which surged 94% during the month.

Despite reaching all-time highs, the market's forward price-to-earnings ratio remains at an attractive level of approximately 3.7 times. Notable gainers included FABL, GADT, and BIPL, while sectors like the auto industry saw positive movements with companies like DFML and SAZEW hitting limit up.

The report also covered changes in fuel prices, noting a significant increase in petrol prices by Rs 9 per liter, reaching the highest level since October 2023, and a decrease in diesel prices by Rs 3 per liter.

Market trends suggest consolidation at current levels, with investors encouraged to accumulate value stocks. The anticipation of healthy dividends continues to contribute positively to total market returns.