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Thursday May 16 2019

Dollar touches all-time high of Rs147 in interbank market

KARACHI: The US dollar touched an all-time high of Rs147 in the interbank market on Thursday morning, a day after bouncing back to Rs144 in the open market.

The greenback gained by Rs5.61 – approximately 4 percent – to be sold for Rs147 in the interbank market. It is currently being bought for Rs146 in the interbank market.

The dollar also climbed by Rs3 to hit a new high of Rs147 in the open market.

The latest depreciation in the rupee comes following Pakistan's agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) securing a $6 billion bailout on Sunday.

The dollar also climbed to an all-time high of Rs146.25 in the open market on Wednesday, before bouncing back to Rs144.

President Forex Association of Pakistan Malik Bostan told Geo News that the rupee is expected to depreciate by a further 15 to 20 percent against the dollar by December this year. 

"Until the foreign exchange reserves situation improves, there is no [chance] of the dollar coming down," he said.

Following yesterday's hike, Prime Minister Imran Khan ordered concerned authorities to take action against foreign exchange companies selling the dollar at higher rates, sources informed Geo News.

The decision was taken at a meeting pertaining to foreign currency rates in the country, the sources said. The meeting, presided over by PM Khan, also had a delegation of E-Commerce Association of Pakistan in attendance.

"The investors have taken the IMF conditions as negative, especially with regard to free float of the rupee against the dollar and increasing the interest rate," Yawar Uz-Zaman, head of Research at Shajar Capital, a brokerage house in Karachi, told AFP.

For more than a year now, Pakistan has struggled to stave off a looming balance-of-payments crisis while its economy teeters due to low growth, soaring inflation, and mounting debt.

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