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The Meltdown in Venezuela's Currency Is Deepening

The black-market rate for the bolivar plunges beyond 8,700 per dollar for first time

The meltdown in Venezuela’s currency is deepening as a crippling dollar shortage and a threat of oil sanctions take their toll on the economy. The black-market rate for the bolivar traded weaker than 8,700 per dollar for the first time, according to dolartoday.com on Friday, compared with the official rate of around 10 and a more widely used alternative rate of 2,757. That’s creating an illusion for foreigners observing the country’s stock market, which appears to be valued at $2.57 trillion -- bigger than Germany’s, France’s, India’s or Canada’s -- but is worth only $3 billion based on the black-market rate.

— With assistance by Nathan Crooks, Ben Bartenstein, and Brendan Walsh

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