KARACHI: The value of the US dollar against the rupee touched another all-time high for the second consecutive day, reaching approximately Rs157 in the interbank market during intraday trading on Friday. The greenback was being traded at about Rs156.50 in the open market.
In the last two days, the local currency has lost Rs5 against the dollar setting a new record of Rs157 in the interbank market.
The rupee’s slide had continued on Thursday as it fell as low as Rs154 in the interbank market.
According to dealers, dollar flight has increased because multinational companies are taking profits out of the country as the book closing date — June 30 — is approaching.
As a result, they said, demand for the greenback has increased, putting the interbank market under pressure, whereas the open market is just mimicking the former.
“There was no check from the State Bank. A panic-like situation was seen in the market since every offer to sell dollars was higher than the previous one,” a banker had told Dawn on Thursday while explaining the volatility.
“If [the rupee’s slide] is not stopped, the dollar may hit Rs180 in just a few weeks,” said another senior banker worried about the government’s agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) regarding the exchange rate management. Bankers were confused as to why the SBP did not intervene in the market to arrest the rupee’s slide.
The volatility in the currency market had subsided in the days prior to Eidul Fitr amid high inflows during the festive season.
Currency dealers, commenting on the rupee’s slide, said that there was no shortage of dollar since the dealers had deposited surplus dollar reserves with the banks.