Rupee ends winning streak as imports rise

In Business
April 04, 2024



KARACHI:

Pakistani currency on Wednesday snapped a prolonged rising streak and registered its first depreciation in the past three weeks as it dropped to Rs277.92 against the US dollar in the inter-bank market.

On the other hand, gold hit a new six-and-a-half-month high at Rs238,900 per tola (11.66 grams), which reflected the record high reached in the global market.

According to State Bank of Pakistan’s (SBP) data, the rupee decreased Rs0.08 from Tuesday’s five-and-a-half-month high of Rs277.84 against the greenback.

The currency came under pressure after nearing the much-talked-about psychological barrier of Rs277/$. Demand for the greenback was high as importers required dollars to import oil, which has become expensive in international markets over supply threats. The currency depreciated a day after the government reported that Pakistan’s goods import bill rose to $4.7 billion in March 2024 from around $4 billion a month till a couple of months ago, indicating enhanced demand for the greenback.

However, many currency dealers still believe that the rupee has the potential to recover to Rs250-260/$ in the coming weeks and months.

Earlier, the currency gained 10.53%, or Rs29.26, in the past seven months since hitting the all-time low close at Rs307.10/$ in the first week of September 2023.

However, Exchange Companies Association of Pakistan reported that the rupee extended gains by Rs0.06 on a day-to-day basis and stood at Rs279.98/$ in the open market.On Wednesday, gold price soared Rs1,800 to Rs238,900 per tola (11.66 grams) in line with the global trend. Gold has surged by a net Rs23,200 in the past one month. The precious metal hit a new all-time high at $2,290 per ounce (31.10 grams) in world markets, rising $17 day-on-day, according to the All Pakistan Saraf Gems and Jewellers Association.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 4th, 2024.

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