Pakistan stock market ends down; rupee weakens

ISLAMABAD Fri Aug 24, 2012 9:11am EDT

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ISLAMABAD Aug 24 (Reuters) - Pakistani stocks ended lower on Friday as investors braced for the possibility of fresh political instability, traders said.

The Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) benchmark 100-share index ended 0.27 percent, or 41.37 points, lower at 15,039.18, on volume of 15.79 million shares.

Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf is due to appear before the Supreme Court on Aug. 27 over his failure to comply with orders to reopen corruption cases against President Asif Ali Zardari.

The move, another twist in a long-running standoff between the government and the judiciary, could lead to further political turmoil.

Two months ago, Ashraf's predecessor, Yusuf Raza Gilani, was found guilty of contempt over the same issue and disqualified from holding the post of prime minister.

"Investors are being cautious ahead of the Supreme Court hearing next week," said Mohammad Sohail, chief executive at Topline Securities.

Engro Corp was the biggest winner, gaining 3.01 percent to close at 96.50 rupees.

In the currency market, the Pakistani rupee ended slightly weaker at 94.87/94.93 to the dollar, compared to Thursday's close of 94.68/72.

Overnight rates in the money market ended at 9.00 percent compared with 10.40 on Thursday. (Reporting by Aisha Chowdhry)

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