- Closes at 185.92, depreciating 0.80% in the inter-bank market
The rupee witnessed yet another significant drop against the US dollar, depreciating 0.8% in the inter-bank market on Wednesday.
As per the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the rupee closed at 185.92 after a day-on-day depreciation of Rs1.48, or 0.8%. During the last three trading sessions, the rupee has lost 2.35% of its value.
The local currency has now depreciated 17% against the dollar since achieving its most-recent high on May 14, 2021, and by over 14% during the ongoing fiscal year.
Oil price, a major determinant of currency parity, also rebounded on Wednesday as concerns about tighter supplies from Russia and Libya dominated, while industry data showed a drop in US crude inventories last week.
The rupee has been under pressure for months now, as the country struggles to improve its current account position amid a rise in its import bill, which has led to the depletion of foreign exchange reserves, and raising concerns on the external front.
The central bank's foreign exchange reserves have fallen below $11 billion, and are now at their lowest level since June 2020. Meanwhile, total liquid foreign reserves held by the country stood at $17.03 billion as of April 8, as per the latest data.
Newly appointed finance minister Miftah Ismail has said current reserves position provides an import cover of only around 50 days.
Meanwhile, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) also witnessed negative growth and declined by 2% during the first nine months of this fiscal year (FY22).
As per latest figures, Pakistan received FDI amounting to $1.285 billion during July-March of FY22 as against $1.311 billion in the same month of the previous fiscal year (FY21), showing a decline of $26 million.
On the other hand, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected Pakistan’s GDP growth rate at 4% for 2022 compared to 5.6% in 2021, and rise in inflation from 8.9% in 2021 to 11.2% in 2022.
Asad Rizvi, former treasury head at Chase Manhattan, said the latest decline in local currency is due to “economic reasons” as foreign exchange reserves plunge.
“Delay in Chinese $2.4 billion funding after its maturity and widening of trade gap is hurting too,” he said.
The expert added that uncertainty pertaining to talks with the IMF is adding pressure on the Pak rupee while "holding of export proceeds is adding to the woes".
Inter-bank market rates for dollar on Wednesday
BID Rs 185.75
OFFER Rs 185.85
In the open market, the PKR lost 1.25 rupees for buying and 1.50 rupees for selling against USD, closing at 186.25 and 187.50, respectively.
Against Euro, the PKR lost 2.50 rupees for buying and 3 rupees for selling, closing at 200.50 and 202.50, respectively.
Against UAE Dirham, the PKR lost 30 paisas for buying and 40 paisas for selling, closing at 50.30 and 50.80, respectively.
Against Saudi Riyal, the PKR lost 30 paisas for buying and 40 paisas for selling, closing at 49.30 and 49.80, respectively.
Open-market rates for dollar on Wednesday
BID Rs 186.25
OFFER Rs 187.50