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KARACHI: The rupee depreciated marginally by 0.19% against the US dollar in the inter-bank market, settling at 285.68 on Friday, but it was the currency movement in the open market that caught attention.

During the week, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said it has allowed authorised dealers of foreign exchange to purchase the US dollar from the inter-bank market for settlement of card-based cross-border transactions with international payment schemes such as Visa, MasterCard.

The move, allowed till the end of July, was meant to facilitate customers in getting a lower rate on the US dollar that has seen a widening gap between the inter-bank and open-markets in recent weeks.

The reaction to the development was a lowering of the US dollar rate in the open market the following day, but dealers Business Recorder reached out to said the foreign currency remained in scant supply, rendering the gain of nearly Rs20 rather meaningless.

The following day, the US dollar gained in value, but dealers continued to cite shortage of the greenback.

An analyst said the massive appreciation meant the dealers do not want to incur a loss given that they may have bought the US dollar at over Rs310 earlier this week.

Meanwhile, the gap — on paper — between the inter-bank and open markets reduced to nearly half, but ‘hoarding’ by speculators meant trading volume remained low.

On the economic front, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) communicated its stance on Pakistan’s volatile political situation, and also reiterated requirements for completion of the ninth review.

The IMF programme has remained stalled at the ninth review since November last year, and remains crucial for the cash-strapped economy. The currency has remained under pressure due to the persistent delay.

Open-market rates

In the open market, the PKR gained 10 rupees for both buying and selling against USD, closing at 297.00 and 300.00, respectively.

Against Euro, the PKR gained 9 rupees for both buying and selling, closing at 322 and 325 respectively.

Against UAE Dirham, the PKR gained 2.70 rupees for both buying and selling, closing at 81.50 and 82.30, respectively.

Against Saudi Riyal, the PKR gained 4 rupees for buying and 4.05 rupees for selling, closing at 78.50 and 79.25, respectively.

THE RUPEE

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Weekly Interbank market rates for dollar

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Bid Close Rs. 285.55

Offer Close Rs. 285.65

Bid Open Rs. 285.15

Offer Open Rs. 285.40

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Weekly Open market rates for dollar

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Bid Close Rs. 297.00

Offer Close Rs. 300.00

Bid Open Rs. 307.00

Offer Open Rs. 310.00

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Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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