The Pakistani rupee lost over Rs1.08 against the US dollar during morning trading in the interbank market on Wednesday as the greenback continues to strengthen globally with the dollar index — which measures the greenback against six major peers — witnessing a fresh 20-year high.

The rupee was being traded at Rs222.50 per dollar at 11:58am in the interbank market, according to the Forex Association of Pakistan (FAP).

Saad bin Naseer, director of Mettis Global, a financial data and analytics portal, said the dollar had been strengthing globally for weeks and its impact was being seen in Pakistan’s currency market as well.

He said the UAE government’s regulation mandating travellers from Pakistan to carry 5,000 dirhams in cash had also increased the greenback’s demand, estimating that this measure alone had pushed up demand in the open market by $5 million per day.

“This is why in the open market, the dollar is around Rs10 costlier,” Naseer added.

The recent floods, Naseer said, had damaged the country’s crops and plantations, forcing the government to import vegetables, a move that was also adding to the dollar’s demand and straining the country’s trade deficit.

Naseer said he hoped that the promised $4 billion from friendly countries would soon arrive in Pakistan and help stabilise the rupee’s value.

More to follow.

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