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The rupee registered marginal improvement against the US dollar, appreciating 0.03% in the inter-bank market on Friday.

As per the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the rupee closed at 279.59 after a gain of Re0.08 against the greenback.

On Thursday, the rupee remained unchanged at 279.67 against the US dollar, according to the SBP.

In a key development, foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank increased by $243 million on a weekly basis, clocking in at $8.27 billion as of January 19, data released on Thursday showed.

Total liquid foreign reserves held by the country stood at $13.34 billion. Net foreign reserves held by commercial banks stood at $5.07 billion.

The SBP attributed the increase in reserves to inflow from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). It added, however, that the net reserves grew by less than the amount received by the IMF due to “government’s external debt repayments” executed during the week.

Globally, the US dollar held firm on Friday after rising overnight, as traders weighed how domestic GDP data that surprised to the upside would impact the Federal Reserve’s rate path and awaited key inflation data later in the day.

In the United States, official data on advance GDP estimate showed gross domestic product in the last quarter increased at a 3.3% annualized rate, overshooting the consensus forecast of 2% growth rate. It also showed inflation pressures subsiding further.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of major currencies, hovered around 103.52 after climbing about 0.2% overnight.

It’s gained about 2% so far this year. US Treasury yields slid, with the benchmark 10-year yield down at 4.11% in the Asian morning.

Markets are betting there’s a 50% chance of a rate cut in March, according to the CME FedWatch tool, down from 75.6% a month ago.

Oil prices, a key indicator of currency parity, eased on Friday but were set for their biggest weekly gain since October as positive US economic growth and signs of Chinese stimulus boosted fuel demand sentiment. Brent crude futures were down 47 cents, or 0.57%, to $81.96 a barrel by 0715 GMT.

US West Texas Intermediate crude fell 61 cents, or 0.79%, to $76.75.

The Brent benchmark was set to close 4.5% higher for the week, while the US benchmark was set to rise 4.8%.

Both were on track for their second straight week of gains and the biggest weekly increase since the week ending Oct. 13 after the start of the Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza.

Inter-bank market rates for dollar on Friday

BID                            Rs 279.59

OFFER                      Rs 279.79

Open-market movement

In the open market, the PKR lost 18.00 paisa for buying and 23.00 paisa for selling against USD, closing at 279.07 and 281.17, respectively.

Against Euro, the PKR gained 79.00 paisa for buying and 56.00 paisa for selling, closing at 302.54 and 305.50, respectively.

Against UAE Dirham, the PKR lost 10.00 paisa for buying and 11.00 paisa for selling, closing at 76.28 and 77.00, respectively.

Against Saudi Riyal, the PKR lost 5.00 paisa for buying and 4.00 paisa for selling, closing at 74.45 and 75.07, respectively.

Open-market rates for dollar on Friday

BID                            Rs 279.07

OFFER                      Rs 281.17

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