Rupee strong below 278/$

In Business
March 30, 2024



KARACHI:

In an outstanding rally, Pakistani currency on Friday strengthened further and stood below Rs278 against the US dollar for the first time in five and a half months in the inter-bank market, maintaining its winning streak for the 12th consecutive working day.

According to State Bank of Pakistan’s (SBP) data, the rupee extended gains by 0.03%, or Rs0.08, on a day-on-day basis and closed at Rs277.95 against the greenback.

With this, the currency has cumulatively increased 10.49%, or Rs29.15, in the past over six and a half months compared to the record low close of Rs307.10/$ in the first week of September 2023.

Exchange Companies Association of Pakistan reported that the local currency appreciated 0.05%, or Rs0.14, closing at Rs280.27/$ in the open market.

The latest surge in the rupee value came after the central bank reported an uptick in its foreign exchange reserves for the third consecutive week, which indicated that inflows of the foreign currency remained higher than its demand.

The reserves rose $4 million to $8.02 billion in the week ended March 22, 2024, according to the latest weekly update released by the SBP on Thursday.Market talk suggests exporters are selling dollar proceeds on forward counters in maximum possible quantities because of an upbeat outlook on the rupee, which is expected to improve further and cause losses to those who hold dollars for a longer period. In addition, overseas Pakistanis are sending relatively higher remittances to their family members to help them meet higher expenditures during Ramazan and for Eid festival.

Apart from this, the IMF executive board is expected to give its final approval for the release of last loan tranche of $1.1 billion for Pakistan in late April. This will further improve the foreign exchange reserves and enhance capacity to smoothly repay foreign debt on time.

Gold price on Friday surged Rs3,800 per tola (11.66 grams), standing above six-and-a-half-month high at Rs234,800 in line with the global trend.

In the international market, the precious metal hit a record high on hopes for a reduction in the benchmark US interest rate.

The All Pakistan Saraf Gems and Jewellers Association reported that bullion spiked $40 to $2,254 per ounce in the global market.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 30th, 2024.

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