• Pakistan Rupee (PKR) moves lower for a 2nd session
  • IMF forecasts -2.2% contraction for Asia Pacific region, -0.6% worse than previously forecast
  • US Dollar (USD) rises on safe haven flows as US rescue package looks elusive
  • US jobless claims & US Presidential election in focus

The US Dollar Pakistan Rupee (USD/PKR) exchange rate is extending gains for a second straight session. The pair settled +0.1% higher on Wednesday at 161.31, the low end of the day.  At 09:15 UCT, USD/PKR trades +0.3% higher at 161.71.

The International Monetary Fund has warned that the Asia Pacific region will see a sluggish economic recovery from the pandemic hit, even as China surges ahead. According to the IMF’s Regional Economic Report Asia is expected to contract -2.2% this year, -0.6% worse than June’s forecast.

Consumer confidence has been shattered by covid and social distancing measures and the IMF expects this to continue to be a problem until a vaccine is developed.

Whilst strong growth in China will go some way to boost regional trade weak global growth and closed borders will drag on any trade led recovery. Any recovery is likely to be more gradual than initially thought.

The US Dollar advancing across the board as the market mood deteriorates amid growing scepticism of an additional US fiscal stimulus being agreed before the US Presidential elections. The two continue to fall short of an agreement and the clock is ticking.

Even if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Steve Mnuchin or President Trump were to agree a deal the chances are it would be a significantly larger rescue package than what the Republicans are willing to accept. Therefore, it would be unlikely to clear the Republican dominated senate, which is after a much smaller bill; this realisation is hitting sentiment, boosting demand for the safe haven US Dollar. Meanwhile risker assets are out of favour. This is reflected by falling US futures.

Looking ahead the US jobless claims data and US live Presidential debate will drive sentiment and the US Dollar. US jobless claims are expected to show the recovery in the labour market has as good as ground to a halt.