Iran's rial stays fragile despite central bank move

Sun Oct 3, 2010 12:05pm GMT

* Central bank unable to return rial to target value yet

* Iranians fear dollar shortage as sanctions bite

* Economists, exporters say currency over-valued

By Ramin Mostafavi and Robin Pomeroy

TEHRAN, Oct 3 (Reuters) - Iran's currency, the rial, defied central bank attempts to revive its value on Sunday, remaining weak after falling 13 percent against the dollar last week.

Last week's rial slump stirred talk of an unannounced policy of devaluation or a scramble for dollars amid fear of a scarcity in hard currency due to economic sanctions. But the central bank said later it would intervene to shore up the rial.

The retail exchange rate was 10,900 rials to the dollar on Sunday, softer than the 10,700 target set by the Central Bank of Iran after it pumped hard currency into the local market. [ID:nLDE68T1QB]

The rial picked up slightly on Saturday, but fell back again on Sunday, although not to its lowest point of 12,200 registered last Wednesday.   Continued...

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