• Pakistan Rupee (PKR) consolidates yesterday’s gains
  • Oil rises as Suez Canal remains closed
  • US Dollar (USD) rises on upbeat economic outlook
  • US shrugs off weaker consumer spending data

The US Dollar Pakistan Rupee (USD/PKR) exchange rate is moving marginally higher on Friday after steep losses in the previous session. The pair fell -0.95% on Thursday, settling at 154.28. At 14:50 UTC, USD/PKR trades +0.07% at 154.38. The pair is set to lose 1.1% across the week.

According to the State Bank of Pakistan, foreign exchange reserves held by the bank rose by 2.11 across the week. Reserves held by the SBP on 19th March were recorded at $13,295 million, up by $275 million compared with $13,019.7 million.

Oil prices are on the rise again today at the end of a very volatile week which has seen the commodity swing over 6% on two consecutive days. West Texas Intermediate trades +2.2% high, back over $60.00 as the Suez Canal a key oil shipping route remains closed.

The US Dollar is trading across the board on Friday. The US Dollar Index which measures the greenback versus a basket of 6 majors, trades +0.25% at 92.76 as it continues to hover around 4 month highs.

The economic outlook for the US appears to be improving, underpinning the greenback. President Biden has pledged to accelerate the US vaccine programme. He now plans to target 100 million jabs in his first 100 days in office. The initial target of 100 million had already been reached with plenty of time to spare.

Investors have shrugged off data which showed that US consumer spending slowed in February falling by the most in 10 months as a cold snap hit the US and as the benefits from the January stimulus checks faded.  Consumer spending dropped 1% after rebounding 3.4% in January. Even so, the drop is expected to be short lived as more stimulus checks are expected to reach households in the coming weeks.