• Pakistan Rupee (PKR) extends losses for 3rd day
  • LSM +11.4% YoY Dec
  • US Dollar (USD) traces US treasury yields higher
  • US retail sales & FOMC meeting minutes up next

The US Dollar Pakistan Rupee (USD/PKR) exchange rate is extending gains for a third straight day on Wednesday. The pair settled +0.14% higher at 159.15. At 09:45 UTC, USD/PKR trades +0.5% at 160.05.

Large scale manufacturing growth in Pakistan stood at 11.4% in December compared to the same period a year earlier. In the July – December period LSM rose 8.16%.

The upbeat data shows signs of economic recovery and reflects growth in the manufacturing sector. The sector is yet to reach pre-pandemic levels. However, it is on the right track with momentum expected to pick up further in the second half.

Oil prices hit a fresh 13 month high on Tuesday underpinned by global economic recovery optimism lifting the demand outlook and by the cold snap in Texas that saw some refineries close. EIA inventory data will be released later today.

The US Dollar is surging across the board. The US Dollar Index, which measures the greenback versus its major peers trades +0.3% at the time of writing. This is a 10 day high after US treasury yields spiked to a the highest level since February 2020.

The US bond market is pricing in a rapid economic recovery and a possible acceleration in inflation on rising expectations of a strong vaccine led economic rebound, combined with massive US fiscal stimulus. The reflation trade is boosting the greenback,

Looking ahead, US retail sales and the minutes from the January FOMC meeting will be in focus.

Investors will be scrutinising the meeting minutes for any clues as to the Fed’s next steps. On one side the US bond market is increasingly pricing in the US central bank tapering support. On the other hand, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell pushed back on the prospect of withdrawing support at the press conference.

US retail sales are expected to rebound 1% month on month in January, after declining -0.7% in December. A strong reading could raise doubts over the decision to refrain from tapering.