• Pakistan Rupee (PKR) extends losses
  • Pakistan inflation spikes to 8.7% YoY February
  • US Dollar (USD) trends higher on reopening optimism
  • US ISM Mfg PMI smashes forecasts

The US Dollar Pakistan Rupee (USD/PKR) exchange rate is pushing higher on Monday, extending gains from last week. The pair rallied +0.16% across the previous week settling on Friday at 158.75 At 15:15 UTC, USD/PKR trades +0.3% at 159.27.

The Pakistan Rupee traced domestic equities lower on Monday as political tensions ahead of a secret ballot Senate election fuelled selling pressure.

The benchmark Karachi 100 index opened higher before trending lower and settled -0.6% lower.

Pakistan consumer inflation rose to 8.7% year on year in February, up sharply from 5.65% recorded in the previous month according to the country’s statistics bureau.

The average inflation rate for the 7 months of the current financial year registered 8.25% year on year.

Yet despite the steep rise in inflation from January’s 2 year low, monetary policy is not expected to change.

The US Dollar is pushing higher across the board. The US Dollar Index which measures the greenback versus 6 major peers trades +0.17% above the 91.000 level at the time of writing.

The US Dollar is pushing higher on reopening optimism. The US regulator, the FDA approved the Johnson & Johnson covid vaccine over the weekend. This is the third covid vaccine to be approved. However, it is the first one shot vaccine. This means that the vaccine rollout will speed up considerably. As a result, optimism surrounding the reopening of the economy has picked up.

Adding to the upbeat mood the US ISM manufacturing PMI smashed expectations with 60.8 points versus 58.6 expected. This was the fastest pace of expansion since the start of the pandemic with business leaders increasingly optimistic about the outlook for the economy.

Meanwhile the Biden administration’s $1.9 trillion stimulus bill was voted on in the House of Representatives over the weekend. It will now head towards the Senate where it will be voted on possibly as soon as Wednesday.