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Markets

Rupee strengthens against US dollar

  • Currency settles at 279.12 in inter-bank market
Published February 28, 2024

The Pakistani rupee strengthened against the US dollar, appreciating 0.06% in the inter-bank market on Wednesday.

At close, the local unit settled at 279.12, a gain of Re0.16 against the greenback, as per the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).

On Tuesday, the rupee registered a marginal decline to settle at 279.28 against the US dollar, according to the SBP.

In a key development, Moody’s Investors Service, a global credit rating agency, on Tuesday said Pakistan’s credit rating “would likely be upgraded” if its government’s “liquidity and external vulnerability risks decreased materially and durably”.

The rating agency, in its announcement of the periodic review, also maintained Pakistan’s credit rating unchanged at ‘Caa3’ for long-term issuer rating, with a stable outlook.

“Pakistan’s credit profile reflects the government’s very high liquidity and external vulnerability risks as the very low levels of foreign exchange reserves remain well below what is required to meet its very high external financing needs over the near to medium term,” Moody’s said.

Internationally, the US dollar held steady as traders brushed off durable goods data overnight and awaited the Federal Reserve’s preferred measure of inflation due Thursday for clues on when the US central bank may start cutting interest rates.

In the US, the Commerce Department’s Census Bureau said orders for durable goods fell 6.1% last month, exceeding the 4.5% decline forecast by economists polled by Reuters.

The data did not seem to faze the market, with all eyes on the US core personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index due on Thursday.

Forecasts are for a rise of 0.4%.

Oil prices, a key indicator of currency parity, pulled back on Wednesday as the prospect of delays to US interest rate cuts and a rise in US crude stocks offset a boost from a potential extension to OPEC+ supply curbs.

Brent crude futures fell 90 cents, or 1.08%, to $82.75 a barrel by 0902 GMT.

US West Texas Intermediate futures (WTI) were down 92 cents, or 1.17%, at $77.95.

Vandana Hari, founder of oil market analysis provider Vanda Insights, attributed the price falls to profit-taking plus a combined response to a surge in US crude stocks and continuing hopes of Gaza ceasefire deal in the coming days.

Inter-bank market rates for dollar on Wednesday

BID                            Rs 279.12

OFFER                      Rs 279.32

Open-market movement

In the open market, the PKR lost 4.00 paisa for buying and remained unchanged for selling against USD, closing at 279.49 and 282.04, respectively.

Against Euro, the PKR gained 96.00 paisa for buying and lost 18.00 paisa for selling, closing at 301.04 and 304.98, respectively.

Against UAE Dirham, the PKR remained unchanged for both buying and selling, closing at 75.98 and 76.70, respectively.

Against Saudi Riyal, the PKR gained 1.00 paisa for both buying and selling, closing at 74.20 and 74.90, respectively.

Open-market rates for dollar on Wednesday

BID                            Rs 279.49

OFFER                      Rs 282.04

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