Rupee Gains Further Ground Against US Dollar 9th Day in a Row

The Pakistani rupee closed this week with more gains against the US Dollar today after opening trade at 296 in the interbank market.

At 12 PM, it was bullish, rising as high as 295 after gaining ~Rs. 1 against the greenback.

Later, the interbank rate eased to the 296 level between 1:30 PM and 2:30 PM before anchoring trends for the remainder of the day.

From 338-335 seen on Monday, open market rates across multiple currency counters stood in the 293-298 range today. Since September 4, the open market rate has recovered massively by roughly Rs. 43 against the greenback.

At close, the PKR appreciated by 0.37 percent to close at 296.85 after gaining Rs. 1.11 against the dollar today.

Sentiments eased following the central bank’s market review which saw its key interest rate unchanged at 22 percent.

The gap between interbank and open market rates has massively shrunk by roughly Rs. 43 in September. From 337 reported last Monday, the rates have gone down to as low as 293 and have since continued brief spikes till 298 today.

Pertinently, the rupee is down nearly Rs. 76 since January 2023. Since April 2022, it is down over Rs. 123 against the greenback. As per exchange rate movements witnessed today, the PKR has gained over Rs. 1 against the dollar.

Friday saw the black money trade move up a notch to as high as 302 rupee/$ after the opening of the Torkham border. The spike was brief but sentiments improved. Our channel checks confirmed that 302 was the highest level reached in the free market before easing trends at 298 between 11 AM and 1 PM, while the interbank rate closed at 296.8 later today.

In a key development, the foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank declined for the fourth consecutive week. On September 8, the foreign currency reserves held by SBP were recorded at $7.639 billion. In a statement, the central bank said that the decline was mainly on account of debt repayments.

The reserves held by the central bank have fallen by over $1 billion since July 14 when reserves stood at $8.727 billion.

Overall liquid foreign currency reserves held by the country, including net reserves held by banks other than the SBP, stood at $ 13.079 billion, down $48 million over the previous week.

The PKR was green against most of the other major currencies in the interbank market today. It gained 29 paisas against the Saudi Riyal (SAR), 29 paisas against the UAE Dirham (AED), 40 paisas against the Canadian Dollar (CAD), Rs. 3.18 against the British Pound (GBP), and Rs. 3.5 against the Euro (EUR).

Conversely, it lost two paisas against the Australian Dollar (AUD) in today’s interbank currency market.

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