SCRA outflows trigger PKR depreciation by 8% in March

March 31, 2020 (MLN): For the first time since the start of FY20, Pakistan Rupee has witnessed a depreciation in the month of March i.e. PKR came down by Rs 12.47 against the dollar, a depreciation of 8.09 percent to close at PKR 166.7 per USD, primarily reflecting ongoing COVID-19 spread crisis and reduction in the policy rate by 225 basis points which led hot money to evaporate via SCRA.

The above two factors are mainly attributed to the devaluation of PKR, increasing the total external debt of the country by 1.385 trillion and a decline by USD 690.40 million in SBP's reserve buffers to stand at USD 11.989 billion as of March 20.  Further, the slow inflows of remittances due to lockdown in senders’ countries also affect the SBP’s reserves.

During the month, PKR was traded at a low of 169.50 and quoted even lower at 170.5 against the greenback.

On the last trading day of March, Pakistani rupee (PKR) depreciated by 56 paisa against US Dollar (USD) in today's interbank session as the currency closed the day's trade at PKR 166.7 per USD, against yesterday's closing of PKR 166.14 per USD.

The Rupee saw moderate volatility in today’s session and traded in a range of 1.00 rupees per USD showing an intraday high bid of 167.00 and an intraday Low offer of 166.40.

Within the Open Market, PKR was traded at 164/167 per USD.

Alternatively, the currency gained 36 paisa against the Pound Sterling as the day's closing quote stood at PKR 205.41 per GBP, while the previous session closed at PKR 205.77 per GBP.

Similarly, PKR's value strengthened by 1.1 rupees against EUR which closed at PKR 183.14 at the interbank today.

On another note, within the money market, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) conducted an Open Market Operation in which it mopped up Rs.35 billion for 3 days at 10.97 percent.

The overnight repo rate towards the close of the session was 10.25/10.50 percent, whereas the 1-week rate was 10.75/10.90 percent.

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Posted on: 2020-03-31T17:31:00+05:00