ISLAMABAD - The Pakistani currency suddenly weakened over one-rupee to Rs142.7 to the US dollar in the open market on Friday as speculation mounted that Pakistan had agreed to let the rupee depreciate further under a stringent International Monetary Fund bailout programme.
“There is speculation the rupee will depreciate to 165-170 against the US dollar in the inter-bank market as per IMF’s conditions,” Exchange Companies Association of Pakistan Secretary General Zafar Paracha said while talking to media. During the day, the rupee remained stable at 141.39 to the greenback in the inter-bank market, the State Bank of Pakistan reported.
Pakistan Forex Association President Malik Bostan said “market talk suggests Pakistan and the IMF have agreed to let the rupee fall to a certain level. However, there is no official word on the likely development.” Topline Research reported a couple of days ago that there were chances that the rupee would weaken 13-17% to 160-165 to the greenback by December 2019.
“Pilgrims who are about to perform Umrah or going for Haj later seem to be major buyers of the foreign currency these days,” Paracha said.
With the latest drop of Rs1.1 on Friday, the rupee weakened by a total of 1.3 against the dollar in the open market in the past four days, according to forex.pk.
Earlier, the central bank let the rupee depreciate a massive 34% since December 2017 to date in a bid to boost sluggish exports and drastically cut imports to narrow down the current account deficit and improve balance of payments situation.
Bostan added that the demand and supply of dollar remained stable, but there was a jump in the demand for Saudi riyal.