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Gold price peters out in Pakistan amid sporadic volatility

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Gold prices petered out in Pakistan Monday as overstrung safe-haven investors preferred to sit tight amid the imposition of taxes and reversal of subsidies by the government to win back the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) loan programme.

Data released by the All-Pakistan Sarafa Gems and Jewellers Association (APSGJA) showed that the price of gold (24 carats) decreased by Rs800 per tola and Rs686 per 10 grams to settle at Rs197,600 and Rs169,410, respectively.

Dealers said an acute downtrend in sales could further pull the prices lower, but dwindling demand for gold imports could help shrink country’s yawning trade deficit and prop up a rickety rupee.

As the Pakistan rupee trades around 269-275 against the dollar in the interbank market, the yellow metal can get much costlier as the nation meets its gold requirements through imports — and the country is already facing a balance of payment crisis.

Gold prices eased on Monday, pressured by a firmer dollar as traders squared positions before the U.S. inflation data, which could influence the Federal Reserve’s roadmap for interest rate hikes, comes out on Tuesday.

Spot gold was down 0.1% at $1,863.38 per ounce, as of 0653 GMT US gold futures inched up 0.1% to $1,876.90.

Bullion is often seen as a hedge against inflation, but the opportunity cost of holding it rises when interest rates are increased to bring down inflation.

“A firmer US dollar and higher Treasury yields continue to put gold prices under pressure as expectations of a prolonged disinflation story are being challenged,” said Yeap Jun Rong, a market analyst at IG.

The dollar index edged up 0.1%, making greenback-priced bullion more expensive for buyers holding other currencies. Benchmark 10-year note yields hovered near their highest level since Jan. 6.

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Significant surge in the price of gold in Pakistan

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On Friday, the price of gold in Pakistan continued to increase.

According to the All-Pakistan Gems and Jewellers Sarafa Association, the price of 24-karat gold per tola has risen by Rs2,200, reaching Rs249,000.

The price of 10-gram 24-karat gold increased by Rs1,886, reaching a total of Rs213,477. On Thursday, the cost of 10 grammes of 22-karat gold was Rs195,687.

The global gold market likewise had a rising trajectory. As per APGJSA, the worldwide rate was $2,404 per ounce, showing a decline of $24 during the course of the trading day.

The local market witnessed constant silver prices at Rs2,900 per tola.

Market observers attribute the increase in gold prices to other variables, such as volatility in the global market, currency exchange rates, and economic conditions. The ongoing surge in gold prices is likely to impact investment choices and consumer behaviour in the near future.

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Gold prices in Pakistan have risen by Rs 1,200 per tola.

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The price of one tola of 24 carat gold rose by Rs1,200 and reached Rs246,800 on Thursday, compared to its previous sale price of Rs245,600 on the last trading day.

According to the All Sindh Sarafa Jewellers Association, the cost of 10 grammes of 24 karat gold rose by Rs1,029 to reach Rs211,591, compared to the previous price of Rs210,562. Similarly, the price of 10 grammes of 22 carat gold jumped from Rs193,016 to Rs193,959.

The price of silver remained unchanged at Rs2,900 per tola and Rs2,486.28 per ten grammes.

According to the association, the international market price of gold rose by $10, reaching $2,382 from $2,372.

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The federal government has declared wage and pension increments for its employees.

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The Ministry of Finance has formally declared a rise in the remuneration and retirement benefits of personnel working for the federal government, offering substantial economic alleviation.

According to the notification, personnel in grades 1 to 16 will experience a 25% increment in their salaries, while officials in grades 17 to 22 will be granted a 20% rise. The implementation of this modification will commence on July 1, 2024, and will be applicable to the employees’ fundamental remuneration.

In addition, retired federal government employees would receive a 15% rise in their pension payments. This increase is applicable to retirees from both the civilian and military sectors. It is important to mention that employees who retire on or after July 1, 2024, will also qualify for this pension rise.

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The 15% increase in pension will be computed based on the amount of pension received by retired employees after deductions. Nevertheless, the letter specifies that ad hoc aid will not be factored into the calculations for pension and gratuity.

Moreover, this increment will have no effect on the calculation of housing rent allowances for employees.

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