by Raheela Nazir
ISLAMABAD, July 29 (Xinhua) — Pakistani rupee rebounded in the last trading session of the week on Friday, recording minor gains against the U.S. dollar after extending losses for 10 consecutive sessions in the interbank market, according to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).
The rupee lost more than 13 percent of its value against the U.S. dollar during the last 10 trading sessions. However, the local currency gained 0.24 percent on Friday, closing at 239.37 as compared to the closing of 239.94 on Thursday.
During this trading week, the exchange rate rose to a record high of 229.88 rupees on Monday, peaked at 232.93 rupees on Tuesday, surpassed 236.02 rupees on Wednesday and reached 239.94 rupees on Thursday.
Pakistani economic experts believe that political volatility in the country, diminishing forex reserves, import bills pressure, and delay in the loan facility from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as well as panic created in financial markets due to temporarily less flow of the U.S. dollars are the reasons behind the weakening of the Pakistani rupee.
Humayun Iqbal Shami, chairman of the Islamabad-based think tank Pakistan Economic Forum, said that the pressure on the rupee will remain until multilateral and bilateral lenders and friendly countries revive their loan programs for Pakistan, which is expected in the mid of August.
Commenting on the recent free-fall of the rupee, Minister of State for Finance and Revenue Aisha Ghaus Pasha said that currencies have depreciated against the U.S. dollar throughout the world, and the incumbent government is taking strict measures to control the depreciating of the rupee.
The measures include funding from friendly countries and the International Monetary Fund, lowering import bills, restrictions on non-essential imports, and increased U.S. dollar inflow through exports and remittances, she said in a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Finance.
“Due to the availability of fuel for more than a month, Pakistan’s imports for the next month would also be lower, which would help stabilize the currency,” she added.
The rupee depreciation also cast an impact on the surging gold prices in Pakistan as the country relies on imports of gold to meet its local demand, All Pakistan Jewellers Manufactures Association chairman Mohammad Arshad told Xinhua.
“Record rupee devaluation and upward trend in the world markets pushing the price of the precious gold metal higher in the country,” he said.