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Rupee sets another low of 176.79 against USD despite $3bn Saudi aid


KARACHI: Pakistani rupee again plunged against the US dollar in the interbank market to hit yet another all-time low of Rs176.79.

According to the State Bank of Pakistan, the dollar opened at Rs176.48 and closed at Rs176.79, shedding 31 paisas (-o.18 percent). Within the open market, the rupee was traded at 177.80/178.80 per dollar.

Earlier, the dollar hit the highest ever levels of Rs176.77, Rs176.42 and Rs176.20 against the local currency during the last week. Overall, the local currency shed two paisas against the greenback during the last two days.

The rupee’s depreciation during the ongoing fiscal year 2021-22 has been Rs19.37 and Rs16.64 in the current year 2021.

According to experts, the $3 billion deposit from Saudi Arabia has failed to leave any positive impact despite expectations. They said that funds are a sort of operating reserves that can only give a temporary boost but are not good enough to solve structural financial pressures.

A day ago, the market recorded some recovery in the rupee’s value; however, large imports kept the dollar demand higher. The rupee is under severe pressure due to a surge in import bills and a widening trade deficit.

Official data revealed that Pakistan’s trade deficit ballooned by 112 percent to $20.59 billion during the first five months (July-October) of the current fiscal year 2021-22. The trade deficit was at $9.72 billion in the same months of the last fiscal year.

Pakistan’s import bill surged by 69.17 percent to $32.934 billion during July–November 2021-22 as compared to $19.468 billion in the same period of the last fiscal year.

The exports of the country also surged by 26.68 percent to $12.344 billion during the period under review as compared to $9.744 billion in the corresponding period of the last fiscal year.

The falling official foreign exchange reserves of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) are also another reason for the rupee deterioration. According to the data released by the SBP, its official reserves declined by $244 million to $16.01 billion by the week ended November 26, 2021 as compared to $16.254 billion a week ago.

Pakistan’s import cover has been reduced to two months with a reduction in official foreign exchange reserves of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to $16.01 billion.

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