pakistani rupee bank notes
  • Pakistani Rupee (PKR) trends lower for 3rd straight day
  • Risk flows & rising oil prices drag on Rupee
  • US Dollar (USD) boosted by safe haven properties
  • Stimulus talks & Treasury / Fed spat in focus

The US Dollar Pakistan Rupee (USD/PKR) exchange rate is extending gains for a third straight session on Friday. The pair settled almost 1% higher on Thursday at 160.05 towards the high of the day. At 13:15 UTC, USD/PKR trades +0.2% at 160.38. The pair is on track to book gains of 0.9% across the week, snapping a 7-week losing streak.

The broad risk sentiment has favoured the safe haven US Dollar across the week whilst dragging on risker currencies such as the Rupee. While on the one hand vaccine optimism is supportive. Markets are also aware that a vaccine won’t be widely available until next year.

Near term cases are surging and lockdown restrictions are tightening from which there will be economic fallout. In Karachi smart localised lockdowns will be imposed in an attempt to stem the spread of the second wave.

Adding downward pressure to the Rupee, oil prices have picked up across the week as investors focus more on vaccine optimism than near term demand concerns

The US Dollar is trading higher across the board, extending gains from the previous session. Yesterday US initial jobless claims unexpectedly increased to 742,000, up from 711,000 in the previous session. The data pointed to the recovery in the labour market stalling a reflection of the tightening lockdown restrictions as covid cases surged.

US Dollar investors are also waiting for any further information on US stimulus talks. Republicans and Democrats have reportedly agreed to resume talks. At the same time US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has refused to extend some of the US Federal Reserve’s covid crisis fighting tools in a rare spat between the two sides. The Fed reminded the Treasury that the US economy was vulnerable and strained. Not extending several emergency lending facilities beyond their expiry in December could rock the economy further.