The rupee ended slightly weaker on Wednesday in the interbank foreign exchange market, as importers bought dollars to cover their payments, dealers said.
The rupee settled at 139.43 against the greenback, compared with Tuesday’s closing of 139.39.
Currency dealers said the local currency was trading at 139.40/139.45 during the day on dollar buying from importers.
The reports of adopting a more flexible exchange rate policy to meet the International Monetary Fund (IMF) precondition to secure the bailout package also dented investors’ sentiment.
The IMF has demanded Pakistan to adopt a free-float exchange rate regime in the future.
Dealers expect the local currency to remain range-bound with some dollar demand from importers likely to be seen. “I expect a range of 139.45 to 139.50 to hold for this week,” a dealer said.
In the open market, the rupee lost another 10 paisas and closed at 139.90 against the greenback, compared with the previous closing of 139.80.
The rupee dropped 31 percent since 2017 and was one of the worst-performing currencies in Asia due to dwindling foreign exchange reserves and heavy debt repayments.
Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves increased to $14.965 billion as of March 8 from $14.956 billion in the previous week. The forex reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan rose $6 million to $8.122 billion.