- Rupee settles at 238.91 against US dollar in inter-bank market, loses value for 13th successive session
The rupee's spectacular fall continued as it neared its all-time low against the US dollar, depreciating for the 13th successive session to settle at 238.91 on Tuesday, as expectation of a widening trade deficit and a strong greenback kept the local currency under pressure.
As per the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the rupee closed at 238.91 after declining by Rs1 or 0.42%. During the last 13 trading sessions, the rupee has cumulatively declined by Rs20.31 or 8.5% against the US dollar.
On Monday, Pakistan's rupee had depreciated for the 12th successive session to settle at 237.91 in the inter-bank market.
Despite receiving the International Monetary Fund (IMF) tranche of $1.2 billion, the rupee has continued to depreciate and seen just one positive session this month — on September 1.
Experts say the country’s borrowing needs are expected to increase in the wake of massive devastation caused by flash floods, which will also drive up the import bill.
“In the short term, the country’s borrowing needs may increase further as floods devastate standing crops in Sindh and lower Punjab,” said AKD Securities in its report on Monday.
“The country will need to import various food items to fulfil local demand and therefore, the import bill will increase.”
The report added that the spread between the inter-bank and open markets has continued to grow owing to the lack of liquidity.
“Many small companies are unable to open letters of credit for imports, and the payments for those are being made through the black market, which is mopping up liquidity further,” it said.
The brokerage house urged on improving inflows through remittances and Roshan Digital Accounts (RDA).
Meanwhile, market experts said several factors are contributing to the ongoing decline.
“The trade deficit is expected to hit $1.5 billion amid rise in import of food items after floods. The import of edibles has ballooned to $1 billion, which reflects an increase of $700-750 million in comparison to the historical trend,” Saad Khan, Head of Research at IGI Securities, told Business Recorder.
“Furthermore, payment of a $1-billion Sukuk bond is due on October 13, which is increasing demand for the US dollar.”
The analyst expects Pakistan’s rupee to remain under pressure in the coming days.
Globally, the dollar remained firm below a two-decade high versus major peers on Tuesday, as investors braced for the Federal Reserve to continue its aggressive interest-rate-hiking campaign to rein in overheated inflation.
The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six counterparts, was little changed at 109.53, stable for the moment after pulling back from as high as 110.79 earlier this month, a level not seen since June 2002.
Oil price, a key determinant of currency parity, ticked up on Tuesday as OPEC and its allies keep producing less than their quotas, but were headed for a fourth monthly decline ahead of an expected further US interest rate hike which may curb economic growth and fuel demand.
Inter-bank market rates for dollar on Tuesday
BID Rs 239
OFFER Rs 240
In the open market, the PKR remained unchanged for both buying and selling against USD, closing at 243 and 245.40, respectively.
Against Euro, the PKR lost one rupee for buying and 1.10 rupees for selling, closing at 242.50 and 244.90 respectively.
Against UAE Dirham, the PKR remained unchanged for both buying and selling, closing at 66.15 and 66.80, respectively.
Against Saudi Riyal, the PKR remained unchanged for both buying and selling, closing at 64.50 and 65.15, respectively.
Open-market rates for dollar on Tuesday
BID Rs 243
OFFER Rs 245.40