• Pakistan Rupee (PKR) fails to trace domestic equities higher
  • Oil prices are under pressure ahead of OPEC+ meeting
  • US Dollar (USD) moves lower on risk flows
  • Jobless claims in focus after weak ADP payroll data

The US Dollar Pakistani Rupee (USD/PKR) exchange rate is extending gains on Thursday for a third straight session. The pair settled +0.57% on Wednesday at 160.00 just off the daily high. At 10:15 UTC, USD/PKR trades +0.05% at 160.10.

The broad mood across financial markets is mixed on Thursday leaving investors lacking direction and awaiting the next catalyst. The Karachi 100 benchmark index is making gains across the session, but the Rupee isn’t tracing domestic equities higher.

Oil prices are extending losses as the OPEC+ group return to discussions on output strategy for 2021. Earlier in the week no agreement was reached over how to tackle declining demand amid the covid pandemic. With recent vaccine developments some producers are questioning the need to tighten supply.

Meanwhile, the second wave of covid continues to sweep the country with 2829 new daily infections reported over the past 24 hours. Earlier in the week Pakistan approved the $150 million needed to buy covid vaccines.

The US Dollar has edged marginally ahead of the Rupee; however it trades marginally lower versus its major peers. The US Dollar Index which measures the greenback versus a basket of major currencies trades -0.07% lower.

The tone surrounding the US Dollar remains soft amid vaccine optimism and hope of additional US fiscal stimulus. Investors are betting that global growth will pick up as covid vaccines become widely available. This is lifting risk appetite boosting demand for riskier stocks and currencies whilst investors sell out of the safe haven US Dollar.

US jobs data yesterday was disappointing as the ADP private payroll data revealed that 307,000 new jobs were added in the private sector in November. This was down from 365,000 in October and also well below the 410,000 forecast.

Jobs will remain in focus with US jobless claims due for release later.