US dollar busts all previous records to breach Rs200-threshold in interbank

F.P. Report

KARACHI: With the uncertainty over the revival of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan programme amid increasing political pressure on the government to announce snap polls, the Pakistani rupee slumped to a new historic low in the interbank market.

With a fresh decline of Rs1.61, or 0.81%, the local currency closed at Rs200 against the greenback on Thursday, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) reported.

The rupee had closed at Rs198.39 yesterday; however, in line with the analysts predictions, the currency surpassed the startling milestone of 200 within the first few hours of trading today.

On the first day of talks with IMF mission, Pakistan has indicated that it is willing to take “tough measures” such as increases in POL products and electricity prices, but only in stages, in order to restart the stalled $6 billion fund programme.

The domestic currency has maintained the trend of making and breaking records for the eighth consecutive working day as it cumulatively lost 7.7% or Rs14.31 in the last ten sessions.

The currency hit a record low of Rs188.66 on May 10. It then plunged to Rs190.02 on May 11, fell over Rs191 on May 12, reached Rs192.52 on May 13, sank below Rs194 on May 16, down to Rs195.74 on May 17 and closed at Rs198.39 yesterday (May 18).

It is worth mentioning that the country follows a market-based exchange rate where the currency moves are determined by the market forces of demand and supply.

Since the beginning of this fiscal year (July 1, 2021) to date, the rupee has collectively dropped by a massive 26.95% (or Rs42.46) compared to the previous fiscal year’s close at Rs157.54.

The rupee has maintained a downward trend for the last 13 months. It has lost 31.34% (or Rs47.73) to date, compared to the record high of Rs152.27 recorded in May 2021.

The US currency stayed above the important milestone surpassed a day earlier and closed at Rs201.5 in the open market today.

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