Lebanese Pound Hits Record Low of More than 24,000 per US Dollar

Lebanese pound banknotes on display at a money exchange shop in Beirut. (Reuters)
Lebanese pound banknotes on display at a money exchange shop in Beirut. (Reuters)
TT

Lebanese Pound Hits Record Low of More than 24,000 per US Dollar

Lebanese pound banknotes on display at a money exchange shop in Beirut. (Reuters)
Lebanese pound banknotes on display at a money exchange shop in Beirut. (Reuters)

Lebanon's currency slid to a new low against the US dollar on Thursday amid government paralysis as the country's financial meltdown deepens.

Several Beirut currency exchangers said the Lebanese pound was trading at around 24,200 per dollar, exceeding an all-time low of about 24,000 reached in July, Reuters reported.

The currency has now lost more than 93% of its value since summer 2019, when it began to split from the rate of 1,500 pounds per dollar at which it had been pegged since 1997.

Lebanon is in the throes of an economic meltdown that the World Bank has called one of the worst depressions of modern history.

The crisis is widely blamed on decades of corruption and mismanagement by political elites.

Lebanon formed a new government in September headed by veteran politician Najib Mikati with the aim of negotiating an International Monetary Fund program seen as key to unlocking international aid to stem the crisis.

However, it has not met in more than 40 days - an absence initiated by a push by Iran-backed Hezbollah and its allies to remove the judge investigating the August 2020 Beirut port explosion that killed more than 215 people and caused billions of dollars in damage.



Oil Slips on US Growth Worries, Ample Crude Supply

FILE PHOTO: Petrochemical storage tanks are seen at the Suncor Energy chemical plant near Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, October 7, 2021.  REUTERS/Todd Korol/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Petrochemical storage tanks are seen at the Suncor Energy chemical plant near Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, October 7, 2021. REUTERS/Todd Korol/File Photo
TT

Oil Slips on US Growth Worries, Ample Crude Supply

FILE PHOTO: Petrochemical storage tanks are seen at the Suncor Energy chemical plant near Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, October 7, 2021.  REUTERS/Todd Korol/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Petrochemical storage tanks are seen at the Suncor Energy chemical plant near Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, October 7, 2021. REUTERS/Todd Korol/File Photo

Oil prices fell in early trade on Thursday, as investors digested that the US Federal Reserve had likely pushed back a possible interest rate cut to December, while ample US crude and fuel stocks also weighed on the market.
Brent crude futures lost 23 cents, or 0.3%, to $82.37 a barrel, as of 0415 GMT, and US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 20 cents, or 0.3%, to $78.30, Reuters reported.
Both benchmarks had gained about 0.8% in the previous session.
The Fed held rates steady on Wednesday and pushed out the start of policy easing to perhaps as late as December.
Higher borrowing costs tend to dampen economic growth, and can by extension, limit oil demand.
Fed Chair Jerome Powell said in a press conference after the US central bank's two-day policy meeting ended that inflation had fallen without a major blow to the economy, adding that there was no reason to think that can't go on.
On the supply side, US crude stockpiles rose more than expected last week, driven largely by a jump in imports, while fuel inventories also increased more than anticipated, data from the Energy Information Administration showed on Wednesday.
Also weighing on prices was a bearish report by the International Energy Agency, which warned of excess supply in the near future.
"This is in stark contrast to the bullish report from OPEC+ earlier this week. The oil group maintained its forecasts for strengthening demand," analysts at ANZ Research said.
Traders are also watching ongoing talks for a ceasefire in Gaza, which, if resolved, would reduce fears of potential supply disruptions from the oil producing region.