KARACHI: Pakistani rupee plunged to 178.24 against the US dollar on Wednesday, recording the 14th all-time lowest level in December.
According to the State Bank of Pakistan, the dollar opened at Rs178.19 in the interbank market and closed at Rs178.24 (-0.03). Within the open market, the rupee was traded at 178/178.50 per dollar.
Overall, the rupee has shed Rs2.52 against the US dollar during the current month. The rupee has depreciated by Rs20.82 during the ongoing fiscal year 2021-22 and Rs18.04 in the current year 2021.
The experts said that the measures taken by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) are facilitating local currency to hold its stabilisation mode. They said though the rupee has set 14 lowest levels during the current month, these measures have halted the volatile movements.
They said that the rupee’s overall depreciation against the US dollar has been around 1.44 percent as it devalued from 175.72 to 178.24 during December.
They said that the depreciation in terms of percentage does not present a bleak picture as the year-end demand for the US dollar is keeping the market on its toes. They said that the outlook for the rupee remains weak, as the trend suggests that there is limited room for the rupee to appreciate in the near future.
According to them, the recent depreciation of the local unit is dictated by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) through prior actions and it has nothing to do with macroeconomic fundamentals. They said that pressure has mounted on the rupee in recent weeks, with everything now hinging on whether the government strikes a deal with the IMF over the release of new funds.
On the other hand, the currency dealers said that the dollar’s demand for import and corporate payments remains usually high by the close of a calendar year. They added that foreign entities operating in Pakistan send their profits and dividends to their parent companies abroad by the end of the quarter.
Earlier during this month, the rupee set 13 lowest ever levels against the US dollar. The rupee hit then lowest ever levels of 178.19 on December 28, 178.17 on December 27, 178.15 on December 22, 178.05 on December 21, 178.04 on December 17, 177.98 on December 15, 177.89 on December 13, 177.71 on December 10, 177.61 on December 9, 177.43 on December 8, 176.79 on December 7, 176.77 on December 3, and 176.42 on December 02. – TLTP