- Currency settles at 279.33 in inter-bank market
The Pakistani rupee registered a marginal decline of 0.02% against the US dollar in the inter-bank market on Monday.
At close, the local unit settled at 279.33 after a loss of Re0.05 against the greenback, as per the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).
The shorter, but crucial week for the country saw millions of citizens in the country exercise their right to vote on February 8. As per provisional results issued by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), independents, especially those associated with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, were ahead of their rival parties.
However, a coalition government is in sight as no party could acquire a simple majority in the election.
Internationally, the US dollar index was steady near 104, while the offshore Chinese yuan weakened nearly 0.1% to 7.2239. Most Asian markets, including Japan and China, were shut on Monday on account of local holidays.
The focus remains on when the US Federal Reserve may begin easing policy rates, with Tuesday’s inflation data likely to shape expectations around the timing of the first cut.
Investors are currently pricing in a 37.5% chance that the Fed will keep rates unchanged in May, up from about 27% as of February 2.
Remarks from US Fed policymakers will also be key to watch later in the day as they could provide insight into how officials are thinking about the future trajectory of policy rates.
Oil prices, a key indicator of currency parity, slipped on Monday as investors indulged in some profit-taking after both benchmarks ended last week about 6% higher on Middle East tensions and as refining outages squeezed refined products markets.
Brent crude futures were down 82 cents, or about 1%, at $81.37 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate crude futures slipped 74 cents, also about 1%, to $76.1 a barrel at 1022 GMT.
Last week, the major forces underlying the rally were the persistent threats to shipping in the Red Sea, Ukrainian strikes on Russian refineries and US refinery maintenance, Tamas Varga of oil broker PVM told Reuters.
This has led to scarce availability of products, particularly in the middle of the barrel, he said.
Inter-bank market rates for dollar on Monday
BID Rs 279.33
OFFER Rs 279.53
In the open market, the PKR lost 18.00 paisa for both buying and selling against USD, closing at 279.19 and 281.19, respectively.
Against Euro, the PKR lost 30.00 paisa for buying and 52.00 paisa for selling, closing at 299.73 and 302.58, respectively.
Against UAE Dirham, the PKR gained 1.00 paisa for both buying and selling, closing at 76.18 and 76.85, respectively.
Against Saudi Riyal, the PKR lost 2.00 paisa for both buying and selling, closing at 74.23 and 74.90, respectively.
Open-market rates for dollar on Monday
BID Rs 279.19
OFFER Rs 281.19