KARACHI: The rupee ended weaker at 90.71/74 to the dollar, compared with Tuesday’s close of 90.66/71 because of increased import payments. The rupee had been supported recently by remittances, which rose 21.45% to $9.73 billion in the first nine months of the 2011/12 fiscal year, compared with $8.02 billion in the same period last year. In March, remittances totalled $1.14 billion. In Friday’s monetary policy statement the central bank said the external sector was likely to remain under pressure because of both external debt payments and a lack of foreign aid. Pakistan’s current account deficit widened to a provisional $3.089 billion in the first nine months of the 2011/12 fiscal year, the central bank said on Wednesday. Overnight rates in the money market ended flat at 11.90%, unchanged from the previous day’s close amid tight liquidity in the interbank market.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 19th, 2012.