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Rupee expected to trade at 216 against dollar in next 10 days

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  • Analysts predict multilateral creditor’s assistance will strengthen rupee. 
  • Rupee expected to trade at 216 to the dollar in next 10 days. 
  • Analysts see interest rates in US topping 5%.

KARACHI: Rupee is likely to appreciate against the US dollar in the coming week, depending on the expected inflows from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Pakistan’s removal from the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) grey list, The News reported. 

The local currency dropped against the dollar by 0.89% this week in the interbank market. However, in the final trading session on Thursday, the rupee drove up to 220.84 due to positive news from the ADB and FATF. It closed at 218.89 on Monday.

Multilateral creditors’ assistance in the wake of the floods would help increase foreign exchange reserves and strengthen the local currency, the analysts believe. 

As of October 14, the forex reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan stood at $7.59 billion — enough to cover about one month of imports.

The rupee is expected to trade at 216 to the dollar in the next 10 days and 210 to the dollar in the following 30 days, according to Tresmark, a terminal that monitors live prices of financial markets.

“This is because of ADB-related inflows of $1.5 billion in the coming week and $2 billion of inflows in the first week of November. Of course, this would not have been possible without the finance minister’s undervalued rupee mantra,” Tresmark said in a client note.

But the real test for the rupee would be six months from now, it added.

Analysts see interest rates in the US topping 5% (last seen in 2008) and a relentless surge of the dollar. 

While major currencies unanimously have a bearish bias, markets are forecasting the Indian Rupee to be at 95 per dollar, the Bangladesh Taka to be at 115 per dollar, and the Yuan to keep weakening. Dollar strength is one factor, but the global recession remains a much bigger concern.

“While CAD (current account deficit) for September was almost at breakeven, economists are looking at a 15-20% drop in exports, plus a 5% drop in remittances,” it said.

According to them, import compression and slowing down the economy further would be an ongoing requirement to sustain the economic winter, it added.

The rupee weakened during the outgoing week marginally on the back of the settlement of smaller letters of credit. Market estimates that about 50% (or around $600 million) still remains to be processed.

“The interbank market is also completely out of dollar liquidity, as can be seen in multi-month lows in swap premiums. Premiums for 1, 3, and 6 months are -2 (down from 130), 25 (down from 390), and 175 (down from 750) respectively,” it said.

In a positive development, the FATAF on Friday removed Pakistan from its list of countries that are under “increased monitoring” known as the “grey list”. This would help boost the nation’s reputation and get a credit rating upgrade from the global rating agencies.

Since the International Monetary Fund (IMF) included the implementation of FATF action plans as a structural benchmark, the removal would make it possible for Pakistan to successfully complete the next review of the IMF’s Extended Fund Facility.

However, the global rating agency Fitch cut Pakistan’s sovereign credit rating by a notch to ‘CCC+’ from ‘B-’, citing further deterioration in the country’s external liquidity and funding conditions and a decline in foreign exchange reserves.

The decrease comes three months after Fitch downgraded the country’s outlook from “stable” to “negative” and revised the ranking to B-. Fitch typically does not assign outlooks to sovereigns with a rating of ‘CCC+’ or below.

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In a first for history, PSX crosses the 77,000 milestone.

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At 77,213.31, the benchmark KSE-100 hit an all-time high, up 1,005.15, or 1.32%, from the previous close of 76,208.16.

The government’s readiness to seal an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) following the budget was cited by analysts as the reason for the upward trend.

Experts anticipate that in an attempt to bolster its position for a fresh bailout agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the budget for the fiscal year ending in June 2025 would set aggressive fiscal goals.

Budget for Pakistan, 2024–2025
Pakistan’s budget for the fiscal year 2024–25, with a total expenditure of Rs18.877 trillion, was presented on Wednesday by Minister of Finance and Revenue Muhammad Aurangzeb.

The Finance Minister, Muhammad Aurangzeb, outlined the budget highlights. He stated that the GDP growth target for the fiscal year 2024–25 is set at 3.6 percent, while the inflation rate is anticipated to stay at 12 percent.

He stated that while the primary surplus is anticipated to be 1.0 percent of GDP during the review period, the budget deficit to GDP is forecast to be 6.9 percent over the period under review.

According to the minister, tax income collection increased by 38% in the current fiscal year, and the province will receive Rs7,438 billion. The Federal Board of income expects to earn Rs12,970 billion in revenue for the upcoming fiscal year.

In contrast to the federal government’s projected net income of Rs9,119 billion, he stated that the federation’s non-tax revenue projections are set at Rs3,587 billion.

The federal government’s total outlays are projected to be Rs18,877 billion, with interest payments accounting for the remaining Rs9,775 billion.

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Pakistan currently has $14.38 billion in foreign exchange reserves.

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Pakistan’s commercial banks’ reserves, which stood at $5.28 billion at the conclusion of the week ending on June 7, rose by US$174 million, according to a central bank statement.

Reserving US$6.2 million less, the SBP now has US$9.10 billion in reserves. The causes for the decline in the reserves it had were not disclosed by the central bank.

The SBP released a statement that stated, “SBP reserves decreased by US$ 6 million to US$ 9,103.3 million during the week ended on 07-June-2024.”

The State Bank of Pakistan’s (SBP) foreign exchange reserves were reduced by US$ 63 million as a result of repaying external debt, with the reserves standing at US$ 9.093 billion as of earlier on June 6.

The central bank spokesperson said in a statement that as of the week that concluded on May 31, the nation’s total liquid foreign reserves were $14.31 billion.

In terms of net foreign reserves, commercial banks have US$ 5.22 billion of the overall foreign reserves, according to the SBP.

SBP reserves dropped by US$ 63 million to US$ 9,093.7 million during the week that ended on May 24, 2024, according to the announcement.

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In the local market, the price of gold plummets to Rs240,700/tola.

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Gold with a 24-karat purity level has dropped by Rs1200/tola on the local market.

Each tola of 24-karat gold is now selling for Rs240,700, with a further drop of Rs1029 bringing the price of 10 kilos of gold to Rs206,361. These figures are courtesy of the All Sarafa and Jewelers Association.

Meanwhile, after a $2 decline on the global market, one ounce of gold will be valued $2315.

A tola of gold was worth Rs 600 more on Wednesday.

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