Rupee continues slide to land at new low of 227 against dollar

Political uncertainty, US Fed actions, downgrade in Fitch ratings and IMF deal delay blamed for fall

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistani rupee on Thursday continued its downward trend against the US dollar, hitting a new low of 227 during the morning trade in the interbank market — despite the government’s assurances of market stability and incoming forex in the next few days.

A day earlier, the rupee nosedived by a whopping Rs2.99, or 1.30%, in a single day to hit an all-time low of Rs224.92, the data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) had shown.

Analysts attribute the fresh depreciation to political uncertainty arising out of the outcome of the Punjab by-elections.

In light of the deteriorating economic situation, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had convened an emergency meeting with the country’s economic team and other high-ranking government officials.

The delayed revival of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) programme has also played a major part in the rupee’s free fall as despite striking a staff-level agreement with the lender, the loan will be disbursed only after the institution’s Executive Board gives its approval — which is expected in August.

Finance Minister Miftah Ismail, however, believes that the economy is on the right track and once political stability returns — which has been uncertain since the coalition government’s take over — the rupee will strengthen against the dollar.

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