Pakistani rupee shed 21 paisa (-0.12 percent) against the US dollar amid a surge in global oil and commodity prices. The State Bank of Pakistan said in a statement on Wednesday that the dollar opened at Rs177.41 in the interbank market and closed at Rs177.62. The rupee witnessed a trading range of 15 paisa during the session, showing the intraday high bid of 177.65 and low offer of 177.60. Within the open market, the rupee was traded at 177.60/178.50 per dollar against 177.50/178.50 a day earlier. On the other hand, the US Dollar Index, which gauges the greenback against a basket of its main competitors, was seen at a multi-year high of 97.80 on Wednesday due to the escalating conflict in the Ukraine, less-than-dovish Fed speakers, and solid US manufacturing survey data. Investors scrambled to buy US dollars for a second consecutive day as they weighed up increasingly more punitive sanctions on Russia and intensified fighting in the Ukraine. Overall, the rupee shed 51 paisa against the American currency during the last three days, while the local unit devalued by 20.19 during the ongoing fiscal year 2021-22 and Rs1.11 during the current year 2022. The currency dealers said that the surging trend in the global crude oil prices will keep the rupee under pressure, as the deteriorating situation between Russia and Ukraine has badly hit the currency markets. They said the rupee is bearing the brunt of increasing trade deficit, surging import bill due to rise in oil prices, shrinking reserves, and speculative elements. The oil import bill recorded a sharp increase in the first seven months (July-January) of 2021-22 from a year ago owing to rising prices on the international market and massive depreciation of the rupee. The oil import bill surged 107.35 percent to $11.7 billion in the first seven months of the current fiscal year. Moreover, the decline in the value of PKR is also attributable to the deteriorating current account balance owing to the increase in imports as the current account deficit (CAD) rose to $2.6 billion in January 2022 from $1.9bn in December 2021. In addition, the shrinking foreign exchange reserves have also played their due role to put pressure on the local unit as the total liquid foreign exchange reserves dropped to $23.23 billion.