KARACHI: Pakistani stocks closed lower on Monday, as traders booked profits after the benchmark index hit record highs in each of the previous four sessions.
The Karachi Stock Exchange's (KSE) benchmark 100-share index ended 0.22 per cent, or 35.88 points, lower at 16,537.98 on total volume of 195,57 million shares. The market surged to a record of 16,651.10 on Friday.
Sui Northern Gas fell 0.46 per cent, or 0.11 rupees, to 24.05 per share, while National Bank dropped 1.32 per cent, or 0.66 rupees, to 49.20 per share. Bank Al Falah rose 0.72 per cent, or 0.12 rupees, to 16.86 per share.
The market's decline was limited by a smaller-than-expected rise in inflation, which traders believe will give the central bank the necessary freedom to ease interest rates later this week.
Pakistan's consumer price index rose 6.93 per cent in November from a year earlier, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics said. On a month-on-month basis, inflation declined by 0.39 per cent from October. In the currency market, the Pakistani rupee eased to 96.57/96.62 against the dollar, compared to Friday's close of 96.49/96.54, on weak demand for the local currency. Overnight rates in the money market ended at 7.00 per cent compared to Friday's close of 9.50 per cent.