Stock closed lower on Friday, as investors remained cautious ahead of the central bank’s policy rate decision and the International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s review of the country’s economic performance, dealers said. 

Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX)’s benchmark KSE-100 index shed 241.45 points or 0.47 percent to close at 50,943.84 points, after trading in a narrow range of 435.01 points. The index lost 241.45 points on the day, but gained 0.52 percent on the week.Analysts said that investors were closely monitoring the upcoming monetary policy announcement by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on October 30, and the inflation data, which are expected to influence the interest rate decision.The SBP has kept the policy rate unchanged at 22 percent in its last policy meeting in July. Moreover, investors were keeping a close eye on the upcoming review of the IMF’s standby arrangement (SBA) starting next week, which if remains successful, will pave the way for a $700 million installment. Pakistan entered into a $3 billion SBA with the IMF in July.”Pressure witnessed at PSX amid speculations ahead of SBP key policy rate announcement on Oct 30 and falling global crude oil prices,” said analyst Ashan Mehanti at Arif Habib Corp.”The weak rupee, foreign exchange reserves falling to $7.5 billion, and Economic Coordination Committee decision for massive raise in industrial gas tariff amid Rs4.5 trillion energy sector circular debt played a catalytic role in bearish close.”Large trading activity was seen around the intraday lows, indicating a strong tendency among investors to capitalize on market downturns. The technology sector led the decline early in the day, but buying interest in selective stocks in the cement, banking, and refinery sectors supported the market.Among the top losers were Systems Limited, which fell 4.9 percent to Rs 1,050.00 per share, and TRG Pakistan, which dropped 3.8 percent to Rs 151.00 per share. Among the top gainers were Bank Al Habib, which rose 4.9 percent to Rs 108.00 per share, and United Bank, which gained 2.2 percent to Rs 214.00 per share.Of the 100 index companies, 28 closed up, 59 closed down, while 13 remained untraded. The total volume of the KSE-100 index was 178.785 million shares, while the total market volume was 350.835 million shares. The traded value was recorded at Rs10.61 billion. JS Global said selling pressure pushed benchmark index below the 51,000 level.The market is expected to consolidate going forward and investors should avail dips to accumulate value stocks, it added. It noted that market is expected to consolidate going forward and investors should avail dips to accumulate value stocks.All-Share index closed at 33,906.14 with a net loss of 133.70 points. Total market volume was 350.835 million shares compared to 364.039 from the previous session while traded value was recorded at Rs10.61 billion showing a decrease of Rs0.32bn.

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