Rupee’s Historic Dip Below 300 Against US Dollar Sends Ripples Through Pakistan’s Economy

Rupee's Historic Dip Below 300 Against US Dollar Sends Ripples Through Pakistan's Economy

The Pakistani rupee plummeted below the 300 mark against the US dollar during today’s intraday trade. The plunge below 299, which occurred around 10:00 AM, has sent shockwaves through the market, with political uncertainties and economic instability casting a shadow over the nation.

The Pakistani rupee experienced a sharp decline within the first half-hour of intraday trading. The interbank rate slid by approximately 50 paisas, reaching a staggering 300.25 by 10:15 AM. This marked a 0.2 percent decrease from Wednesday’s closing rate. While open market rates on various currency counters have yet to reveal changes from the previous day’s range of 307-312, initial bids for the US dollar began at 308.

By 10:05 AM, the interbank rate had settled at 300.25, but experts warn that further losses could be on the horizon as it continues to linger around the 300 mark.

Traders have observed a trend of hoarding US dollars at major cash counters nationwide, reflecting a cloud of uncertainty surrounding the prospects of the dominant foreign currency.

Simultaneously, the black market exchange rate has expanded its gap against the official bank rate, fluctuating between 312 and 318. This sizable difference of up to Rs. 15 in comparison to this week’s turbulent plunge has raised eyebrows.

A trader noted that the exchange rate has been moving in a negative trajectory ever since the caretaker government assumed office. Worsening projections of Pakistani inflation, coupled with short-term trade deficit estimates, have underscored concerns about an impending economic slowdown in the upcoming months. The volatile state of the stock market has added to the overall uncertainty.

He added, “The crash of the PKR, following disappointing CAD data from last week, has cast doubt on the recovery of exchange rate sentiments and dampened participation in the money markets.”

Taking a broader view, the rupee has lost nearly Rs. 82 since January 2023 and over Rs. 129 since April 2022 against the US Dollar. Today alone, the PKR has seen a loss of nearly 50 paisas in its value against the dollar.

Since 2018, the rupee’s depreciation against the dollar has surpassed PKR 196, and considering today’s dramatic decline, the USD/PKR exchange rate has crossed all moving averages since April 2022. Experts predict that the downward trend is likely to continue, with forecasts indicating that the rupee could sink even further below 300 in the days ahead.

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