• Pakistan Rupee (PKR) edges lower, set for weekly gains
  • SBP Foreign exchange reserves rise
  • US Dollar (USD) traces bond yields high
  • US consumer confidence up next

The US Dollar Pakistan Rupee (USD/PKR) exchange rate is advancing for the third straight session on Friday. The pair settled +0.1% higher at 156.85 in the previous session. At 11:45 UTC, USD/PKR trades +0.2% at 157.14. The pair is still on track to lose 0.76% across the week.

Risk off is dragging on demand for the Pakistan Rupee. Global stocks are on the back foot although domestic stocks in Pakistan are moving higher after plunging across the majority of the week. The index is still set for weekly losses of 4.5% despite today’s 2.5% jump.

Data wise, the State Bank of Pakistan reported a rise in foreign exchange reserves held by central banks of 0.3%. On March 5th, foreign exchange reserves held by the SBP recorded at $13,016.1 million, up by 38 million compared to the $12,978.4 million in the previous week. The central bank gave no explanation for the rise.

The US Dollar is higher across the board on Friday. The US Dollar Index which measures the greenback versus a basket of major peers trades +0.5% at 91.86 at the time of writing.

US President Joe Biden signed the $1.9 trillion covid stimulus bill on Thursday. Americans will be receiving $1400 checks in the coming days the $300 unemployment benefit is also being extended. As a result, expectations for a strong US economic recovery have ramped up again, pulling US treasury yields higher, along with the US Dollar.

US jobless claims data on Thursday added to the strong recovery story with 712,000 Americans signing up for unemployment benefits for the first time. This was the lowest level since the pandemic began. It was also below the 725,000 forecast.

Attention will now turn to the US consumer confidence index, the preliminary reading for March. Analysts are expecting it to show a slight tick higher to 78.5, up from 76.8 in February.