Uncertainty persists: Dollar touches all-time high of Rs147

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KARACHI: The US dollar touched an all-time high of Rs147 in the interbank market on Thursday morning, a day after bouncing back to Rs144 in the open market.

Stocks plunged 650 points on exchange rate concerns.

The greenback gained by Rs5.61 approximately 4 percent to be sold for Rs147 in the interbank market. It is currently being bought for Rs146 in the interbank market.

The latest depreciation in the rupee comes following Pakistan’s agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) securing a $6 billion bailout on Sunday.

The dollar climbed to an all-time high of Rs146.25 in the open market on Wednesday, before bouncing back to Rs144.

Following yesterday’s hike, Prime Minister Imran Khan ordered concerned authorities to takeaction against foreign exchange companiesselling the dollar at higher rates, sources said.

The decision was taken at a meeting pertaining to foreign currency rates in the country, the sources said. The meeting, presided over by PM Khan, also had a delegation of E-Commerce Association of Pakistan in attendance.

“The investors have taken the IMF conditions as negative, especially with regard to free float of the rupee against the dollar and increasing the interest rate,” Yawar Uz-Zaman, head of Research at Shajar Capital, a brokerage house in Karachi, told AFP.

For more than a year now, Pakistan has struggled to stave off a looming balance-of-payments crisis while its economy teeters due to low growth, soaring inflation, and mounting debt.