Iran rial plunges 7 pct to new record low

DUBAI Mon Oct 1, 2012 5:18am EDT

DUBAI Oct 1 (Reuters) - The Iranian rial plunged more than 7 percent in open-market trade on Monday to a new all-time low of about 32,000 per U.S. dollar, traders and currency-tracking websites said, meaning the currency has lost about a quarter of its value in the past week.

The rial traded at 32,250 on Monday, currency-tracking website Mazanex said; an Iranian foreign exchange trader in Dubai confirmed the drop. The Iranian currency was trading at 24,600 last Monday, according to currency-tracking site Mesghal.

The rial has dropped steeply in the past nine months because of new Western economic sanctions imposed over Iran's disputed nuclear programme.

The currency has been hit particularly hard over the last week, after the launch of a new government "exchange centre" which was intended to stabilise the rial's rate but appears to have contributed to the market turmoil.

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