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KARACHI: The rupee increased marginally for second consecutive week as it gained Re0.15 or 0.05% against the US dollar in the inter-bank market.

The local unit remained at the losing end in the first three sessions of the week. However, the last two helped the currency gain ground as it closed the week at 279.04 level against the greenback, compared to 279.19 it had closed the week earlier, according to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).

In a key development during the previous week, Moody’s Investors Service (Moody’s) upgraded the outlook of Pakistan’s banking sector to ‘stable’ from ‘negative’ as macro challenges and fiscal pressures ease.

“The banks’ solid profitability and stable funding and liquidity provide an adequate buffer to withstand the country’s macroeconomic challenges and political turmoil,” read the report.

Meanwhile, foreign exchange reserves held by the SBP decreased by $54 million on a weekly basis, clocking in at $7.9 billion as of March 1, SBP data released showed. Total liquid foreign reserves held by the country stood at $13.02 billion. Net foreign reserves held by commercial banks stood at $5.12 billion. At start of the previous week, state-run Radio Pakistan reported that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had directed the authorities concerned to “immediately engage” with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to advance discussions regarding the Extended Fund Facility (EFF)

According to details, he gave these directions while presiding over a meeting to review strategies for the country’s economic revival and growth in Islamabad hours after he was elected the premier.

In the open market, the PKR gained 33 paisa for both buying and selling against USD, closing at 279.10 and 281.70, respectively.

Against Euro, the PKR lost 2.64 rupees for buying and 2.72 rupees for selling, closing at 304.13 and 306.99, respectively.

Against UAE Dirham, the PKR gained 9 paisa for buying and 13 paisa for selling, closing at 75.88 and 76.57, respectively.

Against Saudi Riyal, the PKR gained 10 paisa for buying and 9 paisa for selling, closing at 74.10 and 74.80, 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. 279.04

Offer Close Rs. 279.24

Bid Open Rs. 279.19

Offer Open Rs. 279.39

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Weekly open-market rates for dollar

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Bid Close Rs. 279.10

Offer Close Rs. 281.70

Bid Open Rs. 279.33

Offer Open Rs. 282.03

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Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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