Dollar touches new all-time high at Rs176 in interbank trade

Published November 12, 2021
A file photo of a person holding US dollar bills. — AFP/File
A file photo of a person holding US dollar bills. — AFP/File

The US dollar on Friday reached an all-time high against the rupee, soaring to Rs176 in the interbank market during intraday trading.

The greenback depreciated by Rs1.60 to close at Rs175.80 in the interbank market, according to the Forex Association of Pakistan. The last time the greenback closed at an all-time high was on October 26, when it crossed the Rs175 mark.

In the open market, meanwhile, the dollar was being traded at Rs178 around 12:30pm which later came down to Rs177.80 at 4:30pm.

Zafar Paracha, chairman of the Exchange Companies Association of Pakistan, told Dawn.com that the dollar had depreciated to Rs169.50 after Saudi Arabia revived financial support and oil supplies to Pakistan, however, "the statement from the finance adviser (Shaukat Tarin) in which he predicted further rise in the dollar's value provided space to speculators and they manipulated the market."

According to Paracha, the delay in the finalisation of the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) loan programme was also one of the reasons for the dollar rise "because if this programme was approved, we would have received $1 billion immediately".

He said only an intervention from the State Bank of Pakistan could contain the skyrocketing value of the greenback.

Paracha also demanded action against banks allegedly involved in the dollar speculation.

Meanwhile, Mettis Global — a web-based financial data and analytics portal — quoted Asad Rizvi, the former treasury head at Chase Manhattan bank, as saying: “PKR that was holding up relatively well after the news of the Saudi deposit [...] in hope of getting the IMF nod lost nearly 440 paisa in nine days due to delay.”

On October 26, the dollar had crossed the Rs175 mark to set a new record, with one currency dealer saying that "nobody knows where is the boundary of this devaluation of the local currency."

Last week, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin had announced that an agreement with the IMF over the revival of the $6 billion Extended Fund Facility had been reached and a formal accord would be signed later in the week.

But a formal agreement has yet to be announced.

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