Islamabad: The value of the US dollar against the rupee touched another all-time high for the second consecutive day, reaching approximately Rs148 in the interbank market during trading before closing at Rs147.10.
The greenback’s was valued at Rs141.5 yesterday, but climbed roughly Rs6.50 to hit a historical peak today, with speculation rife in the forex market that the rupee may slide further.
The fall in the rupee’s value comes a day after Prime Minister Imran Khan set up a committee, headed by Adviser to the PM on Finance Dr Hafeez Shaikh, to control devaluation of the local currency and capital flight from Pakistan.
ECAP secretary general Zafar Paracha told Dawn that the dollar is not easily available in the market, and exchange companies are not in a position to provide any large amount of dollars.
The dollar had gained Rs2.25 against the rupee in the open market yesterday amid strong speculation that the rupee would depreciate significantly after the signing of a bailout agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The IMF had spoken of a “market determined exchange rate” in its statement on the programme, and the financial markets have not responded favourably to the announcement.
“Fears of further devaluation as a result of the agreement with the IMF have depressed the currency market and the rupee may lose more against the greenback in the coming days,” Secretary General of Exchange Companies Association of Pakistan Zafar Paracha had said on Monday.
The resulting speculation in the forex market has seen small and large investors looking towards the greenback.
“The potential for higher rate of dollar is visible in the inter-bank money market,” a banker was recently quoted as saying.
Most of the currency dealers and experts have already expressed their disappointment over the undisclosed conditions agreed between the IMF authorities and the government.
The rate in the interbank is considered the official exchange rate but the open market rate fluctuations and shortage of dollars sometimes compel the State Bank to change the exchange rate. The SBP usually uses banking rates for devaluation of the rupee.