Rupee shows strength for second day; dollar slips to Rs170.53

The Pakistani rupee showed strength against the US dollar for the second day in a row on Friday and recovered another 34 paisas (0.20 percent). According to the State Bank of Pakistan, the US dollar opened at Rs 170.87 and closed at Rs 170.53. Within the open market, the rupee was traded at Rs 170/171.20 per dollar, showing a little improvement as it hit Rs 171.50 a day earlier.

The currency experts said that the rupee made some gains as the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) introduced more restrictions to curb outflows of foreign currency during the last couple of weeks. The experts said the measures taken by the central bank, inflows of home remittances and export receipts helped the rupee make recovery during the session.

In its latest measures, the central bank allowed the people travelling to Afghanistan to carry just $1,000 per person per visit with the maximum annual limit of $6,000. The SBP also made it mandatory for the exchange companies to undertake biometric verification for foreign currency sale or purchase transactions above $500. However, despite these measures, the local currency has been under pressure for the last two months. The rupee made an all-time historic low of 170.96 on Wednesday last against the US dollar. The Pakistani rupee shed Rs 0.05 during the last five days against the US dollar, while depreciation during the fiscal year 2021-22 has been Rs 13.11. The local unit has shed Rs 10.26 against the US dollar in the current year 2021. The local currency has maintained a downtrend after it touched 22-month high of Rs 152.27 in May 2021, losing a cumulative Rs 18.22 in the past five months to date. The fresh all-time low of the local currency can be attributed to the latest reports of massive rise in import bill during the first quarter of the current fiscal year. The higher import bill also widened the trade deficit significantly. The trade deficit ballooned by almost 100 percent to $11.66 billion during the quarter under review, compared with the deficit of $5.81 billion in the same period of the last year.