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Gold glitters again as record high inflation boosts demand

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  • Gold price settles at Rs141,000 per tola.
  • A surge of over 1.43% per tola snapped four-day losing streak of gold.
  • Silver prices plummet by Rs50 per tola.

KARACHI: Gold prices rose on Thursday, as skyrocketing inflation dulled risk appetite and boosted demand for the safe-haven metal, although an advancing Pakistani rupee limited bullion’s gains.

Data released by All Sindh Sarafa Association showed that the gold price in Pakistan surged by Rs2,000 per tola and Rs1,715 per 10 grams to settle at Rs141,000 and Rs120,885.

A surge of over 1.43% per tola snapped the four-day losing streak of the yellow metal during which the price of gold declined by Rs8,100 in the local market.

Record high Pakistan’s consumer price index-bases inflation surged to a multi-decade high of 27.3% in August which pushed the gold price to a one-and-a-half-year-high.

The safe-haven asset reversed its downtrend today as multi-year high inflation data boosted the appeal of the asset; however, the appreciation of the Pakistani rupee was pulling at the heels of the gold market and limiting its upside.

Gold is traditionally seen as an inflation hedge. However, reduced central bank interest rate hikes tend to push government bond yields up, translating into a higher opportunity cost for holding gold that pays no interest.

Gold is considered a hedge against inflation, but interest rate hikes would raise the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.

In the international market, the price of yellow metal plunged by $13 per ounce to settle at $1,702. Gold prices briefly slid below the key $1,700 psychological level for the first time in six weeks, as major central banks stuck to an aggressive stance to combat inflation, dulling demand for non-yielding bullion.

It should be noted that the gold price stands below cost and is cheaper by Rs3,000 per tola compared to Dubai.

Meanwhile, silver prices in the domestic market plummeted by Rs50 per tola and Rs42.87 per 10 grams to settle at Rs1,470 per tola and Rs1,260.28 per 10 grams today.

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“Ready to work with Pakistan’s new government,” the IMF said.

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In response to the former premier’s request, IMF Director of Communications Julie Kozak stated, “I’m not going to comment on ongoing political developments,” during a news conference.

She continued by saying that they “look forward to working on policies to ensure macroeconomic stability and prosperity for all of Pakistan’s citizens with the new government.”

In addition to stating that the plan is “supporting the authority’s efforts to stabilise the economy and to, of course, with a strong focus on protecting the most vulnerable,” Kozack said the lender increased the total disbursements under the Standby Arrangement (SBA) to $1.9 billion.

This has been accomplished by closely adhering to budgetary constraints and safeguarding the social safety net. In order to keep foreign exchange reserves growing and rein in inflation, a strict monetary policy stance has been maintained, the speaker stated.

The PTI founding chairman decided to write a letter to the international lender, asking it to demand an audit of the election held on February 8 before it proceeds with discussions with Islamabad for a new loan programme. This move prompted the IMF to release its statement.

In response to the former premier’s request, IMF Director of Communications Julie Kozak stated, “I’m not going to comment on ongoing political developments,” during a news conference.

She continued by saying that they “look forward to working on policies to ensure macroeconomic stability and prosperity for all of Pakistan’s citizens with the new government.”

In addition to stating that the plan is “supporting the authority’s efforts to stabilise the economy and to, of course, with a strong focus on protecting the most vulnerable,” Kozack said the lender increased the total disbursements under the Standby Arrangement (SBA) to $1.9 billion.

This has been accomplished by closely adhering to budgetary constraints and safeguarding the social safety net. In order to keep foreign exchange reserves growing and rein in inflation, a strict monetary policy stance has been maintained, the speaker stated.

The PTI founding chairman decided to write a letter to the international lender, asking it to demand an audit of the election held on February 8 before it proceeds with discussions with Islamabad for a new loan programme. This move prompted the IMF to release its statement.

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In a new IMF agreement, Pakistan would “raise” the FBR tax-to-GDP ratio to 15%.

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The state bank reserves will be maintained at a level equivalent to three months’ worth of import bills, according to sources in the Finance Ministry.

According to sources, the ministry has also set a goal to maintain the primary balance surplus and reduce the current account deficit.

The ministry insisted that once the existing agreement expires, a new one would be negotiated with the IMF, and that the IMF will also be guaranteed that the requirements will be implemented prior to the agreement being finalised.

The founder of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) demanded that an audit of the election results be conducted before the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved any additional loans for Islamabad. However, the IMF showed earlier today that it was eager to cooperate with the new administration in Pakistan by disregarding the demand.

According to Bloomberg News yesterday, Pakistan is to apply for a fresh $6 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund to assist the next government in paying off billions of dollars in debt that comes due this year.

According to the article, the nation would attempt to negotiate an Extended Fund Facility with the IMF, and it was anticipated that discussions with the international lender would begin in March or April.

Thanks to a short-term IMF bailout, Pakistan avoided defaulting last summer. However, the plan expires next month, and the next administration will need to negotiate a long-term deal to keep the $350 billion economy steady.

The IMF forced the South Asian country to enact a number of reforms prior to the rescue, including raising its benchmark interest rate, changing its budget, and raising the cost of natural gas and electricity.

According to a fund spokeswoman, the IMF staff is still in communication with authorities on the necessary longer-term reform initiatives. The fund is also prepared to assist the post-election government in addressing Pakistan’s ongoing issues by means of a new arrangement, should that request be made.

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39% increase in IT exports in January: Dr. Umar Saif

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According to Dr. Umar Saif, the acting minister for information technology and telecommunication, IT exports increased by 39.4% to $265 million in January of this year from $190 million in the same month the previous fiscal year.

The IT sector in Pakistan is expanding and breaking records. The minister wrote on X that “IT exports in January are up by 39.4% to $265 million, compared to $190 million in the same month in 2023.”

The minister also revealed that IT exports to the United States over the first seven months of the current fiscal year (July–January) were $1.7 billion, up 13 percent from $1.5 billion in the same time previous year.

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