pakistani rupee bank notes
  • Risk off trade drags on Pakistan Rupee (PKR)
  • US adds 80 companies to blacklist
  • US Dollar (USD) rises across the board, Congress in focus
  • US initial jobless claims hit 3 month high

The US Dollar Pakistan Rupee (USD/PKR) exchange rate is moving cautiously higher for a second straight session on Friday. The pair settled +0.08% higher on Thursday at 160.00. At 10:15 UTC, USD/PKR trades +0.1% at 160.15. The pair is set for weekly gains of 0.22% adding to gains of 0.6% the previous week.

The FX markets are displaying a broad risk off mood on Friday as the US lays out plans to blacklist a number of prominent Chinese companies. With just a month left in office President Trump has named 80 companies which have apparent ties to the Chinese military to add to the blacklist. The move has unnerved investors who are puling out of riskier currencies and buying into the safe haven US Dollar.

Data from the Pakistan Economic Affairs Division revealed that Pakistan has seen foreign debt balloon over $4.5 billion over the past 5 months. This included $1.6 billion from foreign commercial banks and $1 billion of safe China deposits

The US Dollar is edging higher on Friday versus the Pakistan Rupee and versus its major peers. The US Dollar Index trades +0.2% at 90.00 after hitting fresh multi year lows in the previous session.

Despite optimism earlier in the week US Democrat and Republican lawmakers still haven’t agreed to a new covid relief bill. The pressure is on as the government could be shut down unless a spending bill is passed today, to which the covid relief bill can be attached.

US jobless claims data was disappointing. Initial claims rose to 885,000 on Thursday, up from 853,000 the previous week and a fresh 3 month high. The reversal of the labour market recovery comes as covid cases surge and tighter lockdown restrictions are applied.

Looking ahead the US economic calendar is light meaning that the focus will be firmly on Capitol Hill and Congress.