Iran's rial hits new lows on Trump worries

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran’s currency fell at least 5.5 percent on Sunday, extending a slide to a new record low on continued concerns over a return of crippling sanctions if U.S. President Donald Trump carries out his threat to exit a nuclear deal with Tehran.

The U.S. dollar jumped 2,990 rials to 54,700 rials on the open market in the capital Tehran, the official news agency IRNA reported.

Parliament on Sunday invited the economy minister and the central bank governor to attend a closed session on Tuesday to discuss the accelerating fall of the national currency, Iranian news agencies reported.

The rial had fallen to 47,000 to a dollar in early February from about 36,000 in mid-September on concerns about Iran’s agreement with world powers to curb its nuclear programme in return for the lifting of most international sanctions.

Trump said in January that “disastrous flaws” in the agreement had to be fixed or Iran would face a U.S. exit.

Since last year, the central bank has allowed the rial to depreciate gradually to compensate for Iran’s high inflation and to help to make exports more competitive.

But the drop has accelerated in the past few months, creating a problem for authorities who contained a wave of popular protests against economic hardship and corruption in December and January.

Reporting by Dubai newsroom. Editing by Jane Merriman