Dollar hits record high in inter-bank market



Staff Report


The rupee continued to fall to record lows as US dollar close at a new all-time high of Rs149.65 in the inter-bank market on Monday.

The rupee, which lost 1.20per cent before the day closure, hit 151.50 to the greenback for the first time in history, it was learnt.

Cumulatively in the three days, the local currency has lost 5.84per cent, or Rs8.26, from Wednesday’s close of Rs141.39 under the new round of depreciation.

The rupee is heading down a steep slope and has been termed Asia’s worst performing currency. Analysts predict that the worst is not yet over. There was speculation in the market that the rupee may drop to 165-170 to the US dollar under the current cycle of depreciation.

The stock market also declined on Monday, with the benchmark KSE-100 index shut down at a loss of 155.77 points after an initial nosedive of 800 points by 11am.

Overall, trading volumes increased to 165.5 million shares compared with Friday’s tally of 90.4 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs6.1 billion.

At the end of trading, the benchmark KSE-100-share Index recorded an increase of 83.92 points, or 0.25per cent, to settle at 33,250.54.

Topline Securities, in its report, stated after losing over 800 points in intra-day session, the KSE-100 managed to recover and closed 84 points positive.

The index has been suffering heavy losses since the start of last week, when investors were spooked by the potentially harsh conditions that may be attached to the International Monetary Fund bailout package of $6 billion, which robbed them of the joy of successful conclusion of the staff level talks with the International lending agency.

Earlier in the previous six rounds, the central bank had let the rupee depreciate by staggering 34per cent since December 2017 to Wednesday’s (May 15, 2019) close of 141.4 in the inter-bank market.

Cumulatively, rupee weakened 41.8per cent, or Rs44.15, since December 2017.