The Pakistani rupee fell 8% this week as it recorded an annual performance worse than nearly any other currency except those of bankrupt Sri Lanka and war-ravaged Ukraine.
The slide has deepened an already difficult economic crisis, as Pakistan struggles with depleting foreign currency reserves and a current account deficit.
On Friday, the rupee fell 0.68% against the dollar, taking its decline for the week 8% and for the year to over 21%, according to central bank data.
Interbank rates hit a historic intra-day low before recovering slightly to 228.37 rupees to the dollar from 226.81 rupees on Thursday.
It was at 210.95 rupees to the dollar when trading opened on the first trading day of the week, Monday and at 178.16 at the start of 2022.
The drop comes despite last week’s staff level agreement reached with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the disbursement of $1.17 billion under resumed payments of a bailout package.
Mohammad Sohail, head of Topline Securities, said investors worried whether the government would be able to take corrective actions requested by the IMF after losing provincial by-elections in the populous province of Punjab.
Pakistan’s finance minister on Wednesday blamed the rupee’s slide on political turmoil, saying he expects market jitters over the currency’s sharp decline to subside soon.
- Reuters, with additional editing by George Russell