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Rupee slide slows down due to current account numbers

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  • Rupee closes at 220.95 after losing 0.03% in interbank market.
  • Analyst says rupee’s outlook has improved significantly.
  • Since the start of fiscal year 2022-23, rupee has lost Rs16.1.

KARACHI: The downward slide of the Pakistani rupee slowed on Thursday as the encouraging current account deficit number has lent some support to the local unit.

According to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the local currency closed at Rs220.95 in the interbank market after depreciating registering a meagre loss of 0.03% against the greenback compared to Wednesday’s close of 220.88.

The market took positive cues from the current account deficit released a day earlier, which narrowed 37% to $2.2 billion in the first quarter of the current fiscal year due to lower imports and a rise in exports.

Commenting on the rupee’s movement, Pakistan-Kuwait Head of Research Samiullah Tariq said better than expected current account deficit number has improved the sentiment. “Slight movement was exhibited by the rupee,” he said.

Regarding the outlook, Tariq said it had improved significantly with a lower current account deficit number.

Since the start of the fiscal year 2022-23, the rupee has lost Rs16.1 or 7.85% against the US currency — which leaves its imprint on every corner of the global economy as it is the currency in which vital raw materials are bought and sold.

Dar rules out need for ‘steps’ to support rupee

A day earlier, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar ruled out the need for any particular supportive measures for the rupee, stoking optimism among traders that the ‘Darnomics’ will soon be able to crack the country’s monetary conundrum.

“The rupee has been heavily undervalued,” Dar said during an interview with Bloomberg in Washington, where he has been attending annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.

“It is due to speculation — and some players in the market have been responsible for that,” he said.

“I thank those players in the market who have realised that that game at the cost of the national currency will not continue,” he asserted while highlighting that the exchange rate stabilised after traders learned he would take office.

Responding to a query if he was planning to take any “specific steps” to boost the rupee, he said: “I don’t think so. We don’t have the luxury of physically spending foreign exchange — it’s very scarce at the moment.”

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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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