Open market: rupee’s rally continues against US dollar

By Staff Reporter | Business Recorder Sep 11, 2023

The Pakistani rupee continued its appreciation run against the US dollar in the open market as well on Monday as gap with the inter-bank rate narrowed further, a key benchmark of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Stand-By Arrangement (SBA).

Dealers Business Recorder reached out to said the rupee was being quoted at 301 for selling and 298 for buying purposes for customers in the open market, down from Friday’s levels.

The Exchange Companies Association of Pakistan (ECAP) also quoted rates at Rs297.50 and Rs300.50 for buying and selling, respectively, during trading.

Being under an IMF programme, the exchange rate gap between the inter-bank and open markets – called the premium by the IMF in its country report on Pakistan published after the SBA’s approval by the Executive Board – needs to be a maximum of 1.25%.

During the previous week, the PKR gained 24.00 rupees for both buying and selling against USD, closing at 301.00 and 304.00, respectively.

In the inter-bank market, the rupee improved significantly against the US dollar, and was hovering at 301 level.

The local currency has regained momentum after authorities reportedly cracked down on smuggling of dollars.

The measures kicked off after the Pakistan Army’s top brass expressed its resolve to assist the caretaker government in curbing all illegal activities which hamper economic stability, growth, and investors’ confidence, stated Inter Services Public Relations Pakistan (ISPR) on Thursday.

On Sunday, Caretaker Federal Minister for Interior Sarfaraz Ahmed Bugti announced to launch a massive crackdown on hoarders, saying there will be zero tolerance for smuggling and hoarding.

Bugti said all the state institutions and provincial authorities are committed to go to any extent to eradicate the menaces of smuggling and hoarding.

He said that an operation against smuggling of wheat, sugar, urea, dollars, and other commodities has been continuing and the government has recovered sugar and urea in a huge quantity in various parts of the country.

“The momentum is expected to extend in the coming days as well,” said market experts.

The expert said the market is also keeping an eye on the upcoming Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) on September 14 (Thursday).

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