KARACHI: The rupee ended slightly firmer at 90.74/79 to the dollar, compared with Monday’s close of 90.77/82 amid lack of import payments. The rupee has been supported recently by remittances from overseas Pakistanis, which totalled $1.16 billion in February. The rupee touched a record low of 91.28 to the dollar in January, dragged down by concerns over higher payments for oil imports and Pakistan’s overall economic health. There was also concern about Pakistan’s current account deficit, which widened to $2.952 billion in the first eight months of the 2011/12 fiscal year, compared with $194 million over the same period in the previous year. The current account deficit in February was $260 million, compared with a deficit of $98 million in February 2011. In the money market, overnight rates were flat at the top level of 11.90%, unchanged from Monday’s close due to tight liquidity in the interbank market.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 28th, 2012.