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Rupee may stay flat

By Our Correspondent
April 21, 2019

The rupee is expected to remain range-bound in the coming week because of reduced demand for the dollars, traders said.

“The local currency is likely to remain firm next week on the back of low appetite for the foreign currency from importers,” a trader at a leading commercial bank said.

“We continue to expect the currency will trade in the band of 141.35 and 141.45 against the dollar, amid the lack of imports and debt payments.”

However, the market is closely monitoring the direction of the exchange rate, he added.

The local currency was stuck in range-bound trading throughout the outgoing week, trading at 141.39 against the greenback.

In the open market, the local currency traded at 142/142.50 against the dollar.

The forex market didn’t react to the departure of Finance Minister Asad Umar from the cabinet.

Prime Minister Imran Khan appointed Abdul Hafeez Shaikh as “Adviser on

Finance” to bring economic stability to the country.

Pakistan is expected to sign up the International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout package in an effort to stave off the balance of payments crisis and ease in rising twin deficits.

The International Monetary Fund mission is scheduled to visit Islamabad later this month to discuss the final details of the programme.

Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves dropped to $16.195 billion during the week ended April 12, compared with $17.228 billion in the previous week.

The foreign exchange reserves held

by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP)

decline $1.028 billion to $9.243 billion due to payments on account of external

debt servicing, including principal repayment of $1 billion against Pakistan Sovereign Bond.

The current account deficit narrowed

29 percent to $9.588 billion during

July-March 2018/19 from $13.589 billion a year ago, the State Bank of Pakistan reported on Thursday.

Pakistan’s foreign direct investment plunged 51.4 percent to $1.273 billion during the nine months of the current fiscal year 2018/19, compared with $2.621 billion a year ago.