KARACHI

In the currency market, the rupee closed weaker at 90.75/79 to the dollar, compared with Tuesday’s close of 90.70/71 because of an increase in import payments. The rupee had been supported by remittances from Pakistanis overseas, which rose 23.4 percent to $8.59 billion in the first eight months of the 2011/12 fiscal year, compared with $6.96b in the same period last year. 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 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. The deficit stood at $364 million in January 2012.

In the money market, overnight rates fell to between 9.25 percent and 9.75 percent, compared with the previous day’s close of 11.90 percent.

Dealers said they were awaiting the results of an auction of three-, six- and 12-month treasury bills due later in the day, with the central bank expected to reject all bids for the 12-month paper.