Zim dollar drops 129% after first forex auction in 16 years

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The Zimbabwe dollar fell 129% on Tuesday after officials switched to a currency auction trading system from the previous peg.

The Zimbabwe dollar exchange rate, which was officially pegged at 25 to the United States dollar, dropped to 57.35 after the first foreign currency auction in 16 years.

Zimbabwe has struggled to stabilise its currency since 2016. At least US$10.3 million was auctioned with bids spread between 25.5 and 100 to the greenback, according to figures released by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

Shock fuel price hike

The lifting of the official peg also meant fuel dealers would now access foreign currrency at the new exchange rate.

As a result the price of petrol increased by approximately 157% to Z$71.62 per litre while diesel will now retail at Z$62.77 per litre, according to the energy regulator ZERA.

Motorists also have an option to pay United States dollars, where a 20 cents increase will see petrol blend retailing at US$1.28 and diesel at US$1.09 per litre.

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