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The Pakistan Stock Exchange’s (PSX) benchmark KSE-100 closed lower on Friday as traders took a breather after the index hit a record high in the previous session.

The KSE-100 remained range-bound throughout the session on Friday. The index hit an intra-day low of 66,822.43, but some late-session buying helped it regain the position above 67,000.

At close, the benchmark index settled at 67,005.11, down by 137.02 points or 0.20%.

On Thursday, the KSE-100 closed on the highest level as it reached 67,142.12, after an increase of 594.34 points or 0.89%.

In a key development, Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Muhammad Aurangzeb on Friday said the government was hopeful of signing a staff-level agreement (SLA) on a new “larger and a longer programme” with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) by the end of the current fiscal year.

“We are hopeful that by the time we wrap up this fiscal year i.e. end June to early July, we reach at least a staff-level agreement with the IMF,” Aurangzeb said while talking to reporters at the PSX where a gong ceremony was held to welcome the finance minister.

The finance czar also convened a meeting with Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Jameel Ahmad to discuss and strategise on enhancing financing and lending to priority sectors to stimulate economic growth and development in Pakistan.

Meanwhile, the Pakistani rupee registered a marginal gain against the US dollar, appreciating 0.03% during trading in the inter-bank market on Friday. At close, the local unit settled at 277.95, up by Re0.08 against the greenback, as per the SBP.

Volume on the all-share index decreased to 313.03 million from 421.12 million a session ago.

The value of shares decline to Rs9.9 billion from Rs16.16 billion in the previous session.

P.I.A.C.(A) was the volume leader with 39.2 million shares, followed by P.T.C.L. with 32.2 million shares, and Cnergyico PK with 18.95 million shares.

Shares of 343 companies were traded on Friday, of which 136 registered an increase, 188 recorded a fall, while 19 remained unchanged.

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