Pakistani rupee ends near record low on politics

KARACHI - The Pakistani rupee weakened slightly on Tuesday to hover near a record low as investor worries about the future of the government, after the ruling coalition split overnight, dragged on the currency.

By (Reuters)

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Published: Tue 26 Aug 2008, 6:20 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 11:58 AM

The Pakistani rupee ended trade at 76.45/6.55, versus its Monday's close of around 76.60/70, a record-low closing level. The currency hit an all-time intra-day low of 77.15 on Friday.

Some traders said there was suspected intervention by the central bank that capped the rupee's decline on Tuesday. They said the central bank was suspected to have sold dollars to prevent the exchange rate from falling beyond 77 rupees against the dollar.

"There was some intervention. Otherwise, there was not much demand" for the rupee, said a trader who declined to be named.

Investors said the break-up of the coalition government overnight had spurred foreign investors to sell more of their investments in Pakistan, thereby dragging on the currency.

Former Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif pulled his party out of the ruling coalition on Monday, deepening a political crisis that has diverted government attention from pressing security and economic problems.

The move came just a week after the coalition parties had celebrated the resignation of President Pervez Musharraf in the face of the coalition's threat to impeach him.

"There are all these flows that are going out and that is weighing on the rupee," said Asad Iqbal, managing director at Ismail Iqbal Securities.

The break-up of the coalition pushed Pakistani stocks down over 4 percent on Tuesday to a new two-year low.

Persistent political tension, and a sickly economy has caused the rupee to lose over 24 percent of its value against the dollar this year.

Pakistan's trade and fiscal deficits are widening and inflation is soaring, while high oil prices have depleted reserves.

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