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Sunday May 23 2021
By
Web Desk

Currency update: Pakistani rupee may remain under pressure in coming week

By
Web Desk
The local currency depreciates 0.49% to close at 153.36 against the dollar in the interbank market
  • Pakistani rupee to remain under pressure next week.
  • A strong demand of US dollar likely to come from importers and the corporate sector.
  • The rupee has been weakening throughout the last five sessions due to strong dollar demand, says one of the traders at a commercial bank.


KARACHI: Due to a higher appetite for the hard currency from importers, traders expect the Pakistani rupee to remain under pressure next week, The News reported on Saturday.

The local currency depreciated 0.49% to close at 153.36 against the dollar in the interbank market during the outgoing week, but it was enough for traders to speculate on the future direction of the local currency.

“The rupee has been weakening throughout the last five sessions due to strong dollar demand and the next week we are expecting the rupee to lose some more ground against the greenback,”' a trader at one commercial bank said.

The demand is likely to come from importers and the corporate sector.

Imports and exports

Last week, imports were higher, whereas exports and remittances were mostly materialised before the extended Eid holidays.

“While this is quite typical, the traders were more focused on Real Effective Exchange Rate (ERR) due to an uptick in inflation,” Tresmark, an application that tracks financial markets, in a client note said.

Read more: Budget 2021-22 to be presented on June 11

February and March REER posted on the State Bank of Pakistan’s (SBP) website recorded 97.2 and 100.5, respectively.

“However, our estimates for April are around 104. If the published rates for April are close to these estimates, the local currency will come under some pressure.

Also, with increasing volatility in the international markets, the odds are more in favour of a weaker rupee (as capital flows out of emerging markets with more volatility),” it said.

Pakistani Rupee to stabilise

Meanwhile, traders are expecting the rupee to stabilise around 155 by the end of June 2021, it added.

The first week after the extended holidays was uneventful and range-bound. Interest rates were stuck in a narrow corridor with analysts unanimous of no rate change in the upcoming monetary policy statement, primarily to compensate for the loss of the economic opportunities stemming from lockdowns and other measures.

The National Accounts Committee (NAC) has estimated this fiscal year’s gross domestic growth close to 4%, surprising everybody and bringing optimism within the business circles.

Other positives were stable external conditions and a stronger pipeline of foreign currency capital inflows.

Less activity in bond markets

Inflation has been higher recently, but that hasn’t translated into more activity in the bond markets.

Topline Securities conducted a poll of key financial market participants over their views on the upcoming monetary policy statement.

A total of 78 participants took part in the latest poll. About 73% of the participants are expecting no change in the policy rate in the upcoming monetary policy, compared with 82% in the previous poll.

Around 13% of the participants expect an increase of 25 basis points (bps) in the policy rate, while 12% of the participants anticipate a cut of 25-50 bps.