• Pakistan Rupee (PKR) extends losses
  • Risk off trade as China sees spike in covid cases
  • US Dollar (USD) rises on expectations of more stimulus
  • Non-farm payroll report dramatically missed forecasts

The US Dollar Pakistani Rupee exchange rate (USD/PKR) exchange rate is extending gains for a second consecutive day on Monday. The pair settled on Friday +0.1% at 159.90. However, across the week the pair traded approximately flat. At 10:15 UTC, USD/PKR trades +0.3% at 160.45.

Risk off is dominating the financial markets at the start of the new week as covid cases continue to rise globally, overshadowing vaccine rollout developments. Whilst covid cases have been increasing in the US and Europe a surge in cases in China just south of Beijing is unnerving investors. Global equity indices across the globe are trending lower reflecting the risk off mood, whilst demand for riskier currencies such as the Pakistan Rupee has taken a hit.

Separately, Pakistan’s central bank governor said that Pakistan is in talks with the International Monetary Fund to put the fiscal support programme back on track. He added that he is upbeat about the economic outlook despite the fallout from the covid pandemic.

The US Dollar is advancing across the board. The US Dollar Index which measures the greenback against 6 major peers is trading around 1% higher than the almost three-year low hit in the previous week.

The US Dollar is extending gains after Friday’s US non-farm payroll report missed expectations by a significant margin.

The closely watched labour market report from the US Labour Department showed that -140,000 job posts were lost in December. Analysts had expected 71,000 job gains. This was the first decline in jobs since April. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 6.7%, just under the 6.8% forecast.

The weak data combined with an all-Democratic government has boosted expectations of a huge covid fiscal relief package. Investors are now starting to price in economic recovery spurring inflation on the black of trillions in extra covid relief spending from Joe Biden.