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Markets

Rupee records marginal gain against US dollar

  • Currency settles at 278.41 level in the inter-bank market against the US dollar
Published March 20, 2024

The Pakistani rupee registered marginal improvement against the US dollar, appreciating 0.08% in the inter-bank market on Wednesday.

At close, the local unit settled at 278.41, up by Re0.23 against the greenback, as per the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).

On Tuesday, the rupee registered a marginal decline to settle at 278.64 against the US dollar, according to the SBP.

In a key development, Pakistani authorities reached staff-level agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on the second and final review of the $3 billion Stand-By Arrangement (SBA), it was announced by the lender in a statement on Wednesday.

“This agreement is subject to approval by the IMF’s Executive Board, upon which the remaining access under the SBA, $1.1 billion will become available,” it added.

Globally, the US dollar climbed to a four-month high against the Japanese yen, a day after the Bank of Japan’s widely anticipated decision to end its negative interest rate policy.

The main spotlight for the day remains on the Fed and although the central bank is not expected to move, its economic projections and comments from Chair Jerome Powell will be in focus.

Last week’s stronger-than-expected inflation reports led traders to reduce their bets on rate cuts this year, with markets now pricing in 73 basis points (bps) of easing this year.

At the start of the year, traders were pricing in 150 bps of cuts.

Traders are pricing in a 59% chance of the Fed starting its easing cycle in June, the CME FedWatch tool showed, sharply lower than earlier expectations.

The dollar index, which measures the US currency against six rivals, rose to 0.019% to 103.87.

Oil prices, a key indicator of currency parity, edged lower on Wednesday, as a stronger dollar curbed investor appetite while traders took some money off the table after benchmarks rallied to multi-month highs in the previous session.

Brent crude futures for May fell 28 cents, or 0.3%, to $87.10 a barrel by 0711 GMT.

US West Texas Intermediate futures for April delivery, which expire on Wednesday’s settlement, fell 47 cents, or 0.6%, to $83.00 a barrel.

The more active May WTI contract was at $82.41 a barrel, down 32 cents.

Inter-bank market rates for dollar on Wednesday

BID                            Rs 278.41

OFFER                      Rs 278.61

Open-market movement

In the open market, the PKR gained 6.00 paisa for buying and 3.00 paisa for selling against USD, closing at 278.48 and 281.12, respectively.

Against Euro, the PKR gained 31.00 paisa for buying and 37.00 paisa for selling, closing at 300.78 and 303.67, respectively.

Against UAE Dirham, the PKR gained 9.00 paisa for buying and 8.00 paisa for selling, closing at 75.57 and 76.30, respectively.

Against Saudi Riyal, the PKR gained 6.00 paisa for buying and 5.00 paisa for selling, closing at 73.84 and 74.53, respectively.

Open-market rates for dollar on Wednesday

BID                            Rs 278.48

OFFER                      Rs 281.12

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