In a first, Pakistan rupee breaches 194-mark over looming economic uncertainty


Karachi, May 17 (IANS) The Pakistani rupee plummeted to an all-time low against the dollar, closing at Rs194.18 during intraday trading in the interbank market, down Rs 1.65 from Friday, Geo News reported.

The local currency surpassed the critical threshold of 194 for the first time in the history of Pakistan on Monday.

The rupee has declined by nearly Rs 7 against the greenback in April.

The Pakistani rupee has maintained its slump mainly because the US dollar is gaining strength against other major global currencies for the past few days.

However, the recent decline came on the back of the uncertain economic situation due to delay in decision-making and a stalled International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme.

The market reacted negatively to the government’s decision to keep prices of petroleum products unchanged, said Arif Habib Limited Head of Research, Tahir Abbas.

“The decision taken by the government on Sunday evening to maintain prices triggered the uncertain environment or the investors,” he added, explaining that the investors are now concerned regarding the revival of the IMF programme.

The political unrest owing to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf protest campaign against the government is eclipsing the new economic team’s focus on economic firefighting which is also adding pressure on the dwindling rupee.

Former Prime Minister Imran Khan has announced to march with millions of his supporters towards Islamabad after May 20 to demand new elections to add to the troubles of the economically-challenged Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz-led government, Geo News reported.

The Pakistan Stock Exchange witnessed major selling pressure on Monday as the benchmark KSE-100 index shed over 1,000 points at the start of the day.



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