Pakistan Bomb That Killed 53 Aimed to Destroy Hotel (Update1) Bloomberg [Sep 21, 2008]
Pakistan’s bombing seen a big blow for markets Reuters India
Sun Sep 21, 2008 4:25pm IST By Sahar Ahmed
KARACHI, Sept 21 (Reuters) - A suicide bomb attack which killed at least 53 people in the Pakistani capital Islamabad will be a big blow to foreign investment and will lead to further weakening of the rupee which is already trading at a record low, dealers and analysts said on Sunday.
A suicide attacker set off a huge truck bomb on Saturday night at the Marriott Hotel, part of a U.S.-based chain and a favourite haunt of diplomats and rich Pakistanis.
The Czech ambassador and an American and German national were among the dead, while more than 270 people were wounded in the worst militant attack in the capital.
“In the short-term, its another hammering for the rupee,” said a currency dealer.
“It’s a big blow for foreign investment as foreigners are going to feel less secure in investing in Pakistan and the fact that the government is not able to control these attacks does not leave much confidence in the market.”
The Pakistani rupee weakened to to a record low of 78.27 against the dollar on Saturday because of weak economic fundamentals and the global financial crisis.
It has lost 21.3 percent against the dollar since the beginning of the the year.
Dealers also said the market was short of dollars because of the central bank’s buy/swap operations. The central bank has been buying