The Pakistani rupee gained further ground against the US Dollar during intraday trade today after opening trade at 286.
The Pakistani rupee seesawed during the afternoon with the interbank rate falling as low as 287 before rebounding back above 285. However, open market rates across multiple currency counters stayed high on the 305-315 level.
The informal exchange rate was trading above 310 as seen throughout this week to as high as 318 with informal imports and the frenzy of Hajj season piling the pressure. Today’s cash rate per dollar in Hawala averaged 307.
At close, the PKR appreciated by 0.21 percent and closed at 285.15 after gaining 58 paisas today.
The Rupee managed to close in the green today despite early-day losses which saw the PKR lose roughly Rs. 2 against the USD after opening at the 286 level.
Traders bemoaned the crashing forex reserves held by SBP which fell by $119 million this week. They underscored the importance of onboarding creditors for a timely bailout, considering failure to do so could spell default. “Gains are welcoming, but crucial indicators are plummeting which is bad news. The reserve count needs to improve. Weekly drops are hurting exchange rate weightage and pushing away foreign investors whose dollars could save us from default. Understandably, the IMF has closed its counters for improved dialogue, so the least the government could offer is restoring legitimate trade for foreign cash to start flowing as routine,” one of them remarked.
On May 19, the foreign currency reserves held by the SBP were recorded at $4.193 billion, down $119 million compared to $4.312 billion on May 12. The central bank said in a statement that the decline in reserves was due to external debt repayments.
“Pakistan’s struggle to repay debt raises a lot of questions. We’re losing cash week in and week out. Dollar trade could stop if the reserves level falls below $3 billion, which isn’t far off,” another trader said.
Despite today’s gains, the rupee is down nearly Rs. 59 since January 2023. Since April 2022, it is down over Rs. 107 against the greenback. As per the exchange rate movements witnessed today, the PKR has gained 58 paisas against the dollar today.
The PKR was green against the other major currencies in the interbank market today. It gained 15 paisas against the Saudi Riyal (SAR). 15 paisas against the UAE Dirham (AED), 53 paisas against the Euro (EUR), 69 paisas against the Australian Dollar (AUD), and 95 paisas against the Canadian Dollar (CAD).
Moreover, it gained Rs. 1.58 against the Pound Sterling (GBP) in today’s interbank currency market.