KARACHI: The US dollar, which has been on the rise in both the currency markets for some time, crossed Rs103 in the open market and Rs102 in the inter-bank market on Friday.

“The greenback, which reached as high as Rs103 in the open market, settled at Rs102.60 at the end of the session. The pressure is mounting on the local currency,” said Anwar Jamal, a currency dealer in the open market.

Currency dealers in the banking market said the US currency has been trying to move forward for the last couple of weeks but the State Bank was using its tools to control the dollar movement.

“The dollar surpassed Rs102.20 on Friday and settled at 10 paisa less. Since the next Monday, 23rd March, will be another closing day for market, the pressure mounted for dollar buying.

It may fall below Rs102 on Tuesday,” said Atif Ahmed, a currency dealer in the inter-bank market.

However, some currency experts said the uncertainty has pushed the demand high for dollar which particularly hit the open market.

Currency dealers said large amount like $3,000 is difficult to get from one currency dealer. Big currency dealers may provide this amount but they would like to wait more while keeping the dollar in safe.

They said the recent falls in the shares market, which witnessed large selling by foreign investors, diverted the investors’ attention towards the dollar which proved strong, particularly in the wake of oil price turmoil in the global market.

The dollar remained so strong that it gained against almost all important international currencies in 2014. The trend has prevailed this year, too.

The investors have also lost interest in gold as the commodity is still on weak ground since its price has been falling.

Although the country has over $16bn forex reserves which are highly satisfactory for the currency markets, the latest push by the greenback could not be controlled.

A strengthening dollar has also threatened the government’s credibility which earlier brought it down from Rs110 to Rs98.

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