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Ongoing political uncertainty dented investor confidence at the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) as the benchmark KSE-100 Index recorded a fall of 0.56%, while volume and value of shares traded declined on Friday.

Indices slipped lower and lower throughout the trading session. By the end of the session, the KSE-100 Index closed with a decrease of 234.4 points or 0.56% to close at 41,856.31.

On Thursday, the KSE-100 Index had risen for the fourth successive session to close with an increase of 146.12 points or 0.35% to close at 42,090.71 points.

But across-the-board selling pressure was witnessed on Friday as the market was hit by political instability, after Pakistan Tehreek-e- Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan was shot in the shin on Thursday when his anti-government protest convoy came under attack in Wazirabad, Gujranwala in what his aides claim was an assassination attempt.

After the initial reaction, a recovery was witnessed at PSX, but it was short-lived after PTI announced countrywide protests would take place on Friday after afternoon prayers.

“The protests will continue until Imran Khan’s demands are met,” said PTI leader Asad Umar.

“The negative reaction was expected following yesterday’s development,” Sana Tawfik, vice-president research and a senior analyst at Arif Habib Limited (AHL), told Business Recorder.

“The market is expected to remain range-bound, and will trade in the range of 300-400 points, but the situation could worsen if the protests take an unwanted turn,” added Tawfik.

Index-heavy automobiles, cement and chemical closed with losses. Meanwhile, oil & gas marketing companies and pharmaceuticals registered gains.

Capital Stake report stated that negative sentiment prevailed at the PSX.

"Negativity filled the air on last trading session of the week as political unrest caused by attack on former Prime Minster Imran Khan shook investors," it said.

On the economic front, rupee registered an appreciation of Re0.03 or 0.01% in the inter-bank on Friday and closed at 221.92.

Sectors driving the benchmark KSE-100 index lower included technology & communication (58.88 points), cement (53.78 points), and pharmaceutical (25.42 points).

Volume on the all-share index declined to 298.09 million from 325.7 million on Thursday. Similarly, the value of shares traded decreased to Rs5.5 billion from Rs7.2 billion recorded in the previous session.

WorldCall Telecom was the volume leader with 73.16 million shares, followed by Hascol Petroleum Limited with 73.15 million shares and Sui Southern Gas Pipeline Limited with 9.36 million shares

Shares of 343 companies were traded on Friday, of which 113 registered an increase, 198 recorded a fall, and 32 remained unchanged.

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