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KARACHI: The rupee declined marginally against the US dollar during the previous week as it depreciated Re0.08 or 0.02% in the inter-bank market.

The local unit snapped its 13-week long appreciation run amid lack of positive triggers on both the political and economic fronts.

Millions of Pakistanis who voted on February 8 are yet to hear the news of government formation as the political parties have so far failed to reach a consensus for a coalition government after no party could acquire absolute majority in the polls.

In a key development, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said that the government’s tariff rationalisation and circular debt management plans did not address the underlying problems of Pakistan’s energy sector.

“Restoring the viability of the energy sector is critical to Pakistan’s economic recovery and fiscal sustainability,” IMF Mission Chief Nathan Porter told Business Recorder.

“In our view, the proposed plan does not address the underlying problems. In particular, the circular debt neutrality of the tariff rationalisation plan is doubtful and it would place a significant additional burden on vulnerable households,” he said.

Meanwhile, Moody’s Investors Services (Moody’s) termed the persistence of political uncertainty in Pakistan following inconclusive election results a credit negative.

The rating agency in its latest report on Pakistan stated that overall, uncertainty around Pakistan’s ability to quickly negotiate a new IMF programme after the current one expires in April 2024 remains very high.

Pakistan’s government liquidity and external vulnerability risks will remain very high until there is clarity on a credible longer-term financing plan, it said.

The country’s total liquid foreign reserves rose by $52 million and stood at $13.14 billion end of the last week, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) reported.

During the week ended on Feb 9, 2024, SBP’s reserves increased by $13 million to reach $8.057 billion up from $8.044 billion. However, net foreign reserves held by commercial banks surged by $39 million to $5.093 billion end of last week compared to $5.054 billion a week earlier.

In the open market, the PKR lost 31.00 paisa for buying and 76.00 paisa for selling against USD, closing at 279.32 and 281.77, respectively.

Against Euro, the PKR lost 10.00 paisa for buying and 24.00 paisa for selling, closing at 299.53 and 302.30, respectively.

Against UAE Dirham, the PKR gained 11.00 paisa for buying and 5.00 paisa for selling, closing at 76.08 and 76.81, respectively.

Against Saudi Riyal, the PKR lost 4.00 paisa for buying and 7.00 paisa for selling, closing at 74.25 and 74.95, respectively.

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THE RUPEE

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Weekly inter-bank market rates for dollar

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Bid Close Rs. 279.36

Offer Close Rs. 279.56

Bid Open Rs. 279.28

Offer Open Rs. 279.48

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Weekly open-market rates for dollar

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Bid Close Rs. 279.32

Offer Close Rs. 281.77

Bid Open Rs. 278.89

Offer Open Rs. 281.00

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Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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