- Dealers say there is shortage of dollars in open market
Pakistan's currency was thrown deeper into oblivion on Thursday, with the rupee closing near the 192 level against the US dollar amid deepening economic woes and no policy-plan in sight.
Driven by market speculation and panic over low foreign exchange reserves, the rupee has been on a downward trend for several weeks, and fell for the sixth session on Thursday.
As per the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the rupee closed at its all-time low of 191.77 after a day-on-day fall of Rs1.75, or 0.91%.
In the open market, the rupee was trading in the 192-193 range with dealers saying that there is a clear shortage of dollars as well, attributing it to a lack of greenback sellers.
The currency crisis has been worsened due to uncertainty regarding resumption of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout programme and Pakistan government's willingness to meet conditions of the Washington-based lender.
On Wednesday, rupee had closed at its then historic low of 190.02 against the greenback after a day-on-day fall of Rs1.36, or 0.72%.
Pak-Kuwait Investment Company Head of Research Samiullah Tariq said quotes went as high as 192 during the day.
“Banks gave quotes of Rs192 and more as well, however, it is uncertain if rupee traded at that value or not,” he said.
Ismail Iqbal Securities Head of Research Fahad Rauf told Business Recorder that the latest depreciation stems from speculation in the foreign exchange market ahead of a meeting between Pakistan’s economic managers and IMF leadership.
An announcement with regards to the IMF programme is in the offing, which is expected to steer the direction of the local currency in the next few days.
Market projects the rupee will remain volatile until the resumption of $6 billion IMF bailout.
Inter-bank market rates for dollar on Thursday
In the open market, the PKR lost one rupee for buying and 50 paisas for selling against USD, closing at 192 and 193, respectively.
Against Euro, the PKR gained one rupee for both buying and selling, closing at 200 and 202, respectively.
Against UAE Dirham, the PKR lost 50 paisas for both buying and selling, closing at 52 and 52.50, respectively.
Against Saudi Riyal, the PKR lost 30 paisas for buying and 40 paisas for selling, closing at 50.70 and 51.20, respectively.
Open-market rates for dollar on Thursday