The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) is likely to carry forward the positive momentum gained during the past two sessions in the week starting today (Monday) due to $2.77 billion receivable from International Monetary Fund (IMF), reduced geopolitical uncertainty, falling global commodity prices, ease in the coronavirus cases, and the ongoing results season. According to analysts, a decline in infection ratio of the novel coronavirus in Pakistan and slowdown in global oil prices would release pressure from the external account. “Going forward, we expect the market activities to remain upbeat, owing to the reduced geopolitical uncertainty; therefore, we recommend our investors to take exposure in cements, steel, and auto sectors,” a report issued by Pearl Securities noted. During the last week, the benchmark KSE-100 Index gained 429.98 points (+0.91 percent) to close at 47,599.82 points, while the KSE-30 Index gained 247.79 points (+1.3 percent) to close at 19,103.04 points. The benchmark KSE-100 Index is currently trading at a PER of 6.7x (2021) compared to Asia Pacific regional average of 16.1x while offering a dividend yield of 6.6 percent versus 2.4 percent offered by the region. Investors’ participation remained dull, as average daily traded volume declined 13 percent to 266 million shares per day, while the value of traded securities averaged at $70 million per day. Foreign funds and investors offloaded stocks worth $10.82 million during the last week, compared with net buying of $3.95 million in the corresponding week. On the local front, buying was reported by companies ($7.78 million) followed by mutual funds ($5.87 million). Cement companies in the south region increased prices by Rs25/bag effective from Friday last, which led to a rally in the sector on the last trading day of the week where several cement scrips closed at their upper circuits. “The trading activity picked pace on the back of peaceful Taliban takeover of Kabul, decline in international commodity prices, reopening of borders with Afghanistan, and slowdown in Covid-19 infection ratio, resulting in a drastic jump in the trading activity,” some other analysts said. Contribution to the upside was led by i) cement (151 points), ii) commercial banks (86 points), iii) power generation and distribution (72 points), iv) oil and gas marketing companies (65 points), and v) fertiliser (41 points). According to experts, regional geopolitics had an influence on the market earlier in the week after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani flew out of the country paving way for the Taliban to take control 20 years after a US-led military invasion ousted them. However, the market was quick to more than recuperate the losses, they said. On the economic front, large-scale manufacturing (LSM) grew 18.42 percent during June 2021, taking FY21 LSM growth to 14.85 percent. This remarkable rise in LSM during the fiscal year was expected given slowed industrial activity during FY20, amid strict lockdowns during the first wave of the Covid-19. Moreover, the latest data showed that the country received only $90 million as foreign direct investment (FDI) during July as against an inflow of $129 million during the same period last year.