The country’s main stock exchange closed lower on Tuesday as investors anticipated more interest rate hikes from the central bank. The benchmark 100-share index of the Karachi Stock Exchange fell 0.76 percent or 176.18 points to 23,066.50. Investors cashed in shares and relatively low volumes of stock were traded. The fall followed Friday’s decision by the central bank to raise interest rates from 9.0 percent to 9.5 percent, in line with monetary reforms demanded by the International Monetary Fund in return for a bailout package. The rise in interest rates may signal a slowdown for investors after a period of rapid growth. The Karachi Stock Exchange was among the world’s top performing stock markets last year, offering returns of 50 percent. Engro Corporation Ltd fell 1.68 percent to 143 rupees while Maple Leaf Cement Factory Ltd was down 3.35 percent to 25.40 rupees. The rupee ended steady at 104.94/104.99 against the dollar, compared to Monday’s close of 104.94/104.99.