KARACHI: The rupee ended weaker at 91.02/06 to the dollar, compared with Friday’s close of 90.85/90, because international oil prices remained above $119 a barrel on Monday, increasing import payments. Currency has been supported 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. State Bank of Pakistan’s monetary policy statement said that the external sector was likely to remain under pressure due to both external debt payments and lack of foreign aid. GDP growth is estimated at 3.2% for 2011/12 fiscal year, according to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics. Pakistan’s current account deficit widened to a provisional $3.089 billion in the first nine months of the 2011/12 fiscal year, compared with $10 million over the same period in the previous year. Overnight rates in the money market ended flat at 11.90%, unchanged from Friday’s close amid tight liquidity in the interbank market.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 1st, 2012.