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February 14, 2020

Rupee inches down

Business

February 14, 2020

The rupee ended marginally lower against the dollar in the interbank market on Thursday, dealers said.

The local currency closed at 154.38 against the greenback, compared with the previous closing of 154.36. In the open market, the rupee fell against the dollar due to increased demand for the foreign exchange. The local unit weakened 20 paisas to end at 154.60 versus the dollar.

“The rupee lost grounds, amid dollar buying from some banks,” a forex dealer said. “However, sentiment is still positive due to the possibility of reaching a staff level agreement with the IMF [International Monetary Fund].

“Traders are watching government and IMF negotiations for clues on the rupee,” he added. Traders expressed the hope Pakistani authorities and the IMF mission would complete the second review of the $6 billion bailout programme and would agree not to unveil a mini-budget or increase taxes in the current fiscal year regardless of revenue shortfall.

The upward trend in workers’ remittances also boosted the market sentiment. Data issued by the State Bank of Pakistan showed remittances from overseas Pakistani workers rose 9.3 percent year-on-year to $1.907 billion in January. The remittances received in July-January FY20 amounted to $13.302 billion, showing an increase of 4.1 percent over remittances received during the corresponding period last year.