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February 28, 2020

Rupee strengthens

Business

February 28, 2020

The rupee traded slightly stronger on Thursday helped by drop in import payments, while falling global crude oil prices also boosted the sentiment, dealers said.

Domestic currency closed at 154.21 per dollar, compared with Wednesday’s close of 154.25 in the interbank market. In the open market, the rupee ended steady at 154.30 against the dollar.

Dealers said there were lower import payments in the market, and exporters’ dollar sales had also provided support to the local unit during the session. Traders were optimistic about the outlook for the current account deficit and inflation amid decline in international oil prices.

“The weakening crude prices could bode well for the current account balance as well as local currency,” a dealer said. “We see the current range-bound trend (in rupee) continuing in days ahead,” he added.

There were also expectations in the market that the interest rates would come down in the coming months if inflation weakened. Oil prices plunged 2.1 percent to $47.69 a barrel in response to growing fears of global economic slowdown amid coronavirus outbreak outside China. However, traders were concerned about the existence of the coronavirus in Pakistan. The health authorities confirmed first two positive cases of coronavirus infection on Wednesday.