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Rupee continues downward spiral for third straight session

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  • The Pakistani rupee continues to fall for the third session in a row in the interbank trade today.
  • The local currency eased by Re0.22 or 0.10% versus the dollar to close at 221.91 compared to Monday’s close of 221.69.
  • “Rising dollar demand, foreign funding drought and political ferment weighed on the rupee,” says a currency dealer.

KARACHI: The Pakistani rupee maintained its downward trend against the US dollar for the third consecutive session in the interbank market on Tuesday.

The local unit eased by Re0.22 or 0.10% versus the dollar to close at 221.91 compared to Monday’s close of 221.69, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) data showed.

Traders pinned this downtrend to lean foreign exchange reserves amid rising imports, while the decline was also attributed to an increase in demand for the greenback from importers.

“Rising dollar demand, foreign funding drought, increase in country’s default risk, and political ferment weighed on the rupee,” said a currency dealer.

Moreover, the postponement of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s visit to Pakistan and the rescheduling of talks between the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Islamabad for the completion of the ninth review of the IMF’s bailout package hurt investor sentiment.

Dealers expect the rupee to remain range-bound in the coming sessions, depending on the demand and supply of the dollars in the market.

As of November 4, the forex reserves held by the SBP fell by $956 million.

As a result, reserves held by the central bank have fallen to as low as $7.9 billion, enough to cover less than six weeks of imports. The reserves declined on external debt servicing, according to the SBP.

Remittances from abroad dropped by 8.6% to $9.9 billion in the first four months of the current fiscal year. In October, the cash transfers fell to $2.2 billion, a 15.7% decrease from a year earlier. In October, remittances have fallen by 9.1% month-on-month.

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Pakistan’s gold price increases by an additional Rs. 800 per tola.

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The price of yellow metal in the local market hit Rs247,300 on the first working day of the week, following a rise of Rs800 in a single day.

The cost of ten grams of 24-karat gold increased by Rs686 on Monday, making the current price Rs212,020.

In addition, the cost of 10 grams of 22-karat gold increased significantly, trading at Rs194,351.

These fluctuations are strongly correlated with shifts in the US dollar’s value, demonstrating the tight connection between gold prices and exchange rates. This emphasizes how local gold markets are impacted by variables related to the global economy.

The price of the precious metal dropped $16 on the international market on Monday, hitting $2,348 per ounce.

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A delegation from Pakistan travels to the US to bargain with the IMF for a new loan.

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The Pakistani delegation consists of the Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, the Secretary of Finance, the Additional Secretary, and other individuals.

The Finance Minister was greeted at the airport by Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States, Masood Khan, and Embassy staff.

The Finance Minister will meet with representatives of the World Bank and IMF while he is in the US.

The IMF and Pakistan are expected to negotiate next week, according to sources.

Sources claim that Islamabad will apply for a new credit package from the IMF.

The Finance Minister’s itinerary also includes meetings with members of think tanks and the world press.

Last month, Pakistan and the IMF came to a staff-level agreement over the third and final review of the $3 billion stand-by arrangement. Should the board of the global lender approve this deal, Pakistan will get approximately $1.1 billion.

Although a specific date has not been determined, the IMF board is anticipated to evaluate the case in late April, according to a spokeswoman.

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Pakistan’s petrol prices are anticipated to rise.

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The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) will not disclose the anticipated increase in fuel prices until its work is finished, according to sources.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will receive the summary of the petrol price, and sources further stated that the new pricing will be revealed following his approval today.

Noteworthy to highlight is that Pakistan was previously ordered by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to impose an 18% General Sales Tax (GST) on gasoline.

Details indicate that Pakistan was requested by the Monetary Fund to stop reducing sales tax on all goods, including gasoline.

To boost tax revenue, Pakistan’s recently elected government should impose a sales tax on petroleum items in addition to a Rs 60 charge.

High-speed diesel (HSD) was reduced by Rs3.32 per litre on March 31 but petrol prices increased by Rs9.66 per litre by the government.

In contrast to the reduction in the price of high-speed diesel (HSD) to Rs282.24 from Rs278.92, the price of gasoline jumped to Rs289.41 per litre.

The adjustments were brought about by a commensurate increase in the price of gasoline and a decline in the price of HSD on the global market, according to a statement released by the Finance Ministry.

According to the statement, the adjustment was made in accordance with government policy, which transfers pricing differences from the foreign market to the home market.

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