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A stockbroker at the Karachi Stock Exchange.—Reuters (File Photo)

KARACHI: Pakistani stocks hit a record high for the fourth day in a row on Friday, closing the week up nearly 3 per cent, driven by a rally in cement shares and expectations that the central bank will ease rates next week.

The Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index surged as high as 16,651.10 in intraday trading.

It closed at 16,573.86, up 0.28 per cent or 46.78 points from the previous session.

“Investors remained bullish in cement stocks, while the textile sector also joined the bandwagon,” said Samar Iqbal, an equity dealer with Topline Securities.

“With the end of the year approaching, there was also renewed interest in the banking sector.” Fauji Cement rose 2.05 per cent, or 0.14 rupees, to 6.98 per share, while National Bank was up 4.99 per cent, or 2.37 rupees, to 49.87 per share.

Karachi Electric fell 0.72 per cent, or 0.05 rupees, to 6.88 per share.

The market also found support from expectations that the State Bank of Pakistan will cut its discount rate with inflation under control.

The government will publish November inflation figures on Monday, while the central bank meets later in the week to decide on monetary policy.

In the currency market, the Pakistani rupee strengthened to 96.49/96.54 to the dollar, compared to Thursday’s close of 96.54/96.59.

Overnight rates in the money market remained flat at 9.50 per cent.

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