Dollar climbs to Rs162.5 in interbank market

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KARACHI The rupee lost Rs3.5 to reach Rs162.5 against the dollar in the interbank market on Wednesday as various parts of the country observed varying degrees of a lockdown. In terms of percentage, the dollar rose by 2.22 per cent over the previous day’s closing value of Rs159. The rise in dollar came only a day after the State Bank of Pakistan, in an emergency meeting, slashed its key rate by another 150 basis points in the wake of rising coronavirus cases and business disruptions caused. Since the Monetary Policy Committee meeting on March 17, interest rates have been cut by a total of 225 bps over two rounds. “As the interest rates were cut, investors, especially foreigners, offloaded their holdings in the market treasury bills to seek the safety of dollars — a safe haven. This increased the demand for the greenback in the market,” said Zafar Paracha, former secretary general of Exchange Companies Association of Pakistan.