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Rupee’s record-breaking downward streak continues

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistani rupee hit a record low of Rs186.13 against the US dollar on Wednesday compared to Rs185.23 on the previous working day, according to the State Bank of Pakistan’s (SBP) data.

The rupee has maintained a non-stop downward streak for the 16th successive working day except on March 24 when it closed flat compared to the previous day’s closing as investors worried about the political situation and economy, adding pressure on the central bank to rescue the falling currency. The Pakistani currency dropped 0.48 per cent (or Re1) to a new historic low beyond the important threshold of Rs186 against the US dollar in the inter-bank market on Wednesday. The latest decline in the rupee was seen after the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) reported a significant surge of 70 per cent in the trade deficit to $35.4 billion during the first nine months (July-March) of the current fiscal year 2022 compared to the same period last year. Moreover, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) placed the ongoing $6 billion loan programme on hold for the third time in wait for the new government. The IMF, however, clarified that it would engage to promote macroeconomic stability and looked forward to continuing its support to Pakistan.

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The rupee has maintained a downward trend for the past 11 months. It has lost 22.23 per cent (or Rs33.86) to date, compared to the record high of Rs152.27 recorded in May 2021. With a fresh decline of 0.48 per cent, the Pakistani rupee has depreciated by 18.14 per cent (or Rs28.59) since the start of the current fiscal year on July 1, 2021, data released by the central bank revealed.

Earlier, speaking to a private news channel, Arif Habib Limited Head of Research Tahir Abbas had said that the currency is continuously depreciating because of an increase in oil prices in the international market.

“Moreover, uncertainty regarding the delay in the ongoing talks between the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Pakistan is taking a toll on the currency,” he said.

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