On the foreign exchange market, during last week’s trading activity, Pakistani Rupee closed slightly lower against the US dollar settling at 154.70. Year-to-date Rupee has gained +10.80% benefiting from Pakistan’s economic reforms agreed with the International Monetary fund (IMF).
During early Asia trading hours, the USD/PKR exchange rate was seen stabilizing at 154.90. The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) reported that during the previous week’s trading session the Pakistani Rupee was traded at Rs 155.5 against Rs 154.9 in the currency market.
In other new, Pakistan, the second largest economy in South Asia, is expected to cut taxes on its main exports. By easing taxes, Pakistan can increase exports and at the same time narrow the trade deficit, which can help stabilize the domestic currency exchange rate.
According to the latest government data, Pakistan’s trade deficit narrowed by 33%, with imports decreasing by 18%, and exports modestly rise by 5%.
With inflation skyrocketing to a 9-year high of 12.67%, couple with subdued economic growth and increased debt, the domestic currency Rupee can experience lower flow of foreign funds.
Elsewhere, IMF resident representative for Pakistan, Daban Sanchez praised Pakistan’s economic reforms. “Pakistan has put behind its difficult years of security,” she said — citing local news agencies. “Now, it is time for the business community and society in general to enjoy this new time and to really unleash the potential of Pakistan.”
Asian stock market was mixed last week while at the same time the US benchmark index S&P 500 marched towards a fresh new all-time high in post-Christmas trade. The Santa Claus rally in US equities was mainly driven by re-balancing portfolios ahead of the year end.
The benchmark equity index Karachi Stock Exchange KSE-100 Index closed down 0.68% at 40,848 on Friday, and was seen trading on Monday morning Pakistan trading hours at 41,260 up 1.01%. Year-to-date the Pakistan stock exchange market posted double-digit returns of 11.31%. The Pakistan 10-year government bond yield gaped higher and closed at 11.248 versus 10.999 previous closing rate.
On the other hand, the dollar index settled at 97.01 on Friday.