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Political Unrest Triggers Historic Fall of Pakistani Rupee

The Pakistani rupee plummeted to a record low of 300 against the US Dollar during today’s intraday trading, sinking below 296 at 12:10 PM amid political upheaval that’s rattling markets.

In the early hours of intraday trading today, the Pakistani rupee declined with the interbank rate dropping Rs. 10 to hit a bottom of 300.25 by 1:30 PM, a decrease of 3.3 percent. Open market rates across various currency exchanges reached peaks of 310-315 after initial offers for the US dollar began at 306. Sellers have been reluctant to let go of the US dollar as the future of the leading foreign currency remains uncertain.

Currently, US Dollars are not accessible due to the instability in the open market.

Sources have reported that the local currency’s movement is aligning with the political unrest affecting local markets. The trend has been negative since Tuesday when the former Prime Minister Imran Khan was arrested by paramilitary forces at Islamabad High Court.

The black market rate has also drawn nearer to the Bank rate and is trading within the 310-320 range. In the meantime, currency dealers stated that markets are in the red today and the rupee is expected to slide further as nationwide protests and government interference are undermining investor confidence.

Another trader highlighted that the exchange rate fluctuated within a low-to-negative spectrum on Thursday, due to higher-than-anticipated Pakistani inflation predictions and short-term projections indicating an intensifying economic deceleration in the cash-strapped economy. The mixed stock market data also had an impact. “The PKR collapse, following disappointing data from the country this week, has cast further doubts on any recovery in exchange rate sentiments, and dampened engagement in money markets,” he added.

Significantly, the rupee has dropped nearly Rs. 71 since January 2023. From April 2022, it has declined over Rs. 118 against the US dollar. Based on today’s exchange rate movements, the PKR has lost nearly Rs. 10 against the dollar.

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