Pakistan's rupee remained stable on Tuesday for the first time in several days, closing at 170.8 against the US dollar in the inter-bank market.
As per the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the PKR closed at 170.8 against the USD, the same level as on Monday.
The rupee currently sits at its all-time low against the US dollar as high imports and a widening current account deficit take toll on the currency. The volatile situation in Afghanistan has only added to pressure on the Pakistani rupee.
According to data released by the PBS on Monday, Pakistan's trade deficit widened by 100.6% to $11.7 billion during the first quarter (July-September) of the ongoing fiscal year compared with $5.8 billion in the same period of the previous year. Imports stood at $18.631 billion during July-September, a 65% increase year-on-year.
“The widening of the trade gap to $11.6bn in the first quarter is disturbing,” Asad Rizvi, Ex-Treasury Head-Chase Manhattan Bank, tweeted on Tuesday.
He said that if oil prices continue to increase it could challenge the government’s ambitious spending plan. “It has less than 20 months to deliver,” he said, adding that with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) closely watching developments, managing the deficit and inflation will not be easy.
On the other hand, the central bank continued to introduce measures to arrest the rupee decline. On Monday, the SBP reduced the retention period of export proceeds with Authorised Dealers upon realisation from five to three working days.
Officials believe the measure will help to increase the dollar flow in the inter-bank market and help stabilise the exchange rate.
Inter-bank market rates for dollar on Tuesday
BID Rs 170.80
OFFER Rs 170.90
In the open market, the PKR gained 20 paisas for buying and 10 paisas for selling against the USD, closing at 171.80 and 172.20, respectively.
Against Euro, the PKR gained 50 paisas for buying and 80 paisas for selling, closing at 198 and 199.50, respectively.
Against UAE Dirham, the PKR gained 10 paisas for buying and 62 paisas for selling, closing at 47.80 and 47.48, respectively.
Against Saudi Riyal, the PKR remained unchanged for both buying and selling, closing at 45.50 and 45.70, respectively.
Open-market rates for dollar on Tuesday
BID Rs 171.80
OFFER Rs 172.20