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Dollar hits all-time high at Rs176.20

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KARACHI: The dollar recorded an all-time high of Rs176.20 at the closing of the interbank foreign exchange market on Monday, dealers said.

The exchange market recorded a decline of 74 paisas in the rupee value to end at Rs176.20 against the greenback from last Friday’s closing of Rs175.46 in the interbank foreign exchange market.

Previously, the dollar recorded the historic high of Rs175.73 on November 12, 2021.

The dealers said the dollar demand for import and corporate payments remained high during the day. The market remained under pressure due to the opening after two weekly holidays.

The dealers said the international oil prices also rebounded during the day and recovered around 5 per cent.

Pakistan is the net importer of petroleum products and changes in the international oil prices directly impact the demand for the foreign currency.

The oil import bill registered an increase of 96 per cent to $6.2 billion during the first four months (July-October) 2021/22, compared with $3.17 billion during the corresponding period of the last fiscal year.

The dealers said the large import bill of the country also remained major threat for the rupee stability. The import bill of the country surged 65.40 per cent to $25.1 billion during the first four months of the current fiscal year, compared with $15.17 billion in the corresponding period of the last fiscal year.

The rupee stability was dependent on inflows of Saudi support and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) package. The dealers said the Saudi support of $3 billion was expected this month, which would help the rupee recover its value.

However, the inflows under the IMF package is scheduled in January 2022, subject to the approval from the IMF Executive Board.

The high import bill and lower foreign inflows resulted in widening of the current account deficit. Pakistan’s current account recorded a deficit of $5.08 billion during the first four months (July-October) 2021, compared with a surplus of $1.31 billion in the corresponding period of the last fiscal year.

Similarly, the current account deficit widened to $1.66 billion in October 2021, compared with a surplus of $448 million in the same month of the last year.

The rupee remained under pressure since the start of the current fiscal year. it fell Rs18.66, or 11.85 per cent, from June 30, 2021 closing of Rs157.54 to the closing of Rs176.20 on November 29, 2021.

Meanwhile, in the open market, the buying and selling of the dollar has been recorded at Rs176.50/Rs178 till the time of filing this report.

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