As risk sentiment collapses the Pakistani Rupee is falling lower versus the “safer” US Dollar. Following the World Health Organization declaring a pandemic and President Trump announcing a travel ban risk sentiment dropped sharply, denting demand for riskier currencies such as the Pakistani Rupee.

At 10:15 UTC, USD/PKR was trading at 159.35, the highest level since October. This means that the Pakistani Rupee is trading at a 5-month low versus the US Dollar. The Pakistani Rupee has fallen for the past four straight session.

Pakistani Rupee Falls With Risk Sentiment

Risk appetite is on the floor as investors grow ever more concerned over coronavirus and the economic headwinds that it will bring with it.

As the number of coronavirus cases worldwide jump, the WHO declared the virus a pandemic. Labelling coronavirus a pandemic will not mean an automatic change in policy response. The way that each country handles its response to coronavirus is up to them. However, it does add an extra layer of fear to investors who are already panicking. Following the announcement stock markets plunged lower as investors moved out of riskier assets such as stocks and out of riskier currencies such as Pakistani Rupee.

Trump Closes Borders With Europe

The risk off environment is continuing in trade on Thursday after President Trump announced a 30 day flight ban for tourists from mainland Europe. The US will close its borders with Europe as from midnight on Friday. However, Trump didn’t go as far as banning domestic flights. Additionally, Trump announced a package of measures to help individuals and small businesses through the very tough conditions ahead. Interestingly there was still no word on the payroll tax relief which he had mentioned on Monday. This measure could still be going through Congress.

The US stock market is due to open in a few hours and is pointing to losses in the region of 5%, after 4% losses in the previous session. Trump’s measures have done little to contain the fear engulfing the market.

There is no high impacting US data today. Investors will remain focused on coronavirus and policy response.


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