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Markets

A new low for Pakistan's rupee

  • Ends at 169.97 against the US dollar in inter-bank market on Tuesday
Updated 28 Sep 2021

Pakistan's rupee ended at 169.97 against the US dollar in the inter-bank market on Tuesday, a new all-time low as the currency's slide continued to rattle the market as well as policymakers.

As per the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the rupee declined another 37 paisas or 0.22% to finish at 169.97, even crossing the 170 level in intra-day trading.

The PKR has depreciated 10.41% since its recent high in May amid overwhelming growth in the import bill that has put severe pressure on the local currency.

In recent days, a series of measures have been notified to arrest the rupee's decline, including mandating banks to share a five-day schedule of upcoming import payments, revising it upwards from the earlier two-day directive, and directing them to seek permission for imports that are valued at $500,000 per transaction, cutting in half the original payment ceiling of $1 million. The SBP has also introduced curbs on auto financing.

“The stance of the government and the central bank is quite clear,” Tahir Abbas, Head of Research at Arif Habib Limited, told Business Recorder.

"Both have taken proactive measures. This would prove beneficial for long-term sustainable growth."

Pakistan's rupee ends at historic low against US dollar

Pakistan's current account deficit for August 2021 alone clocked in at $1.5 billion, a 88% growth in a single month, while the import figure hit $6.6 billion.

Abbas said that the situation is likely to improve after talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) next month. Furthermore, stability in Afghanistan would also help reduce the pressure, especially as its central bank becomes operational.

Abbas was, however, concerned over the rising commodity prices in the global markets amid demand revival after the pandemic. “This is a concerning issue for a net importer like Pakistan,” he added.

Inter-bank market rates for dollar on Tuesday

BID Rs 169.95

OFFER Rs 170.50

Open-market movement

In the open market, PKR lost 20 paisas for both buying and selling against USD over Monday's rates, closing at 171.50 and 171.80, respectively.

Against the Euro, PKR lost 50 paisas for both buying and selling, closing at 199.50 and 201, respectively.

Against the UAE Dirham, PKR lost 25 paisas for buying and 30 paisas for selling, closing at 47.50 and 47.80, respectively.

Against Saudi Riyal, PKR lost 10 paisas for both buying and selling, closing at 45.50 and 45.70, respectively.

Open market rates for dollar on Tuesday

BID Rs 171.50

OFFER Rs 171.80

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