KARACHI: The financial markets Friday responded positively to the government’s announcement of the removal of subsidies on petroleum products and hopes for the revival of the IMF loan programme.
The Pakistan Stock Exchange’s (PSX) benchmark KSE-100 index rose more than 950 points and crossed the 43,000 threshold during the intraday trade. The market opened at 42,541.71.
In the currency market, the dollar lost 2.26 and was being traded at Rs199.75 in the interbank at around 11:00am.
Financial expert Mohammad Sohail said the sentiment in the market is positive after the government’s “tough decision” of removing subsidies on petroleum products.
The political unrest in the country and the delay in decision on the subsidies had rattled the markets in the last few weeks amid concerns over the IMF programme and dwindling forex reserves.
The Fund, after the conclusion of talks with the Pakistani authorities on Wednesday, had refused to revive the $6 billion programme until the subsidies are removed.
On Thursday in a hurriedly called press conference, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail said that the government has decided to increase the prices of petrol, high-speed diesel, kerosene oil and light diesel oil by Rs 30 per litre from Friday, May 27, 2022.
“New prices will go into effect at midnight. The new price of petrol will be Rs 179.86 and diesel will be Rs 174.15 per litre,” the minister said, adding that the prime minister will announce a relief package to offset the pressure on the poor sections of the society in an address to the nation.