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Foreign exchange reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) decreased $244 million on a weekly basis, clocking in at $16.01 billion, showed data released on Thursday.

Total liquid foreign reserves held by the country stood at $22.5 billion on November 26, 2021, stated the SBP. Net foreign reserves held by commercial banks stood at $6.49 billion.

The central bank did not provide a reason for the week-on-week decline in reserves.

The Saudi Arabia support package, the agreement of which was announced earlier this week, has yet to reflect on the reserves' position.

Pakistan, Saudi Arabia sign $3-billion deposit agreement

The fall comes on a day when stocks got a hammering with the benchmark KSE-100 index losing over 2,100 points or nearly 4.7% during the trading session as the market reacted sharply to the widening trade deficit data and expectations of a hike in interest rate in the coming months.

Pakistan has been looking to build its foreign currency reserves on the back of loans, remittances, and higher exports. However, foreign direct investment continues to be an area of concern for policymakers.

With the import bill reaching a historic high, pressure on Pakistan's foreign exchange reserves is set to continue.

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