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Gold regains shine, price rises over 1% in Pakistan

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  • Per tola gold price settles at Rs197,100.
  • Cumulatively, gold gains Rs3,000 per tola in last two sessions.
  • Silver prices in domestic market remain unchanged.

Gold price in Pakistan regained its shine on Wednesday as the rate rose over 1% in the local bullion market owing to a steep decline in the rupee value.

According to All-Pakistan Sarafa Gems and Jewellers Association (APSGJA), the price of gold (24 carats) surged by Rs2,700 per tola and Rs2,315 per 10 grams to settle at Rs197,100 and Rs168,981, respectively.

Cumulatively, the precious commodity gained Rs3,000 per tola in the last two sessions reversing the prevailing trend recorded last week — when gold lost Rs1,900 per tola.

Meanwhile, silver prices in the domestic market remained unchanged at Rs2,080 per tola and Rs1,783.26 per 10 grams, respectively.

Analysts say gold may be an effective way to defend investments against inflation, but only over long periods of time.

Comparatively, over shorter periods of time, the inflation-adjusted price of gold swings wildly, making it not a very strong near-term hedge for inflation.

In the international market, gold gained traction as strong Chinese economic data dented the dollar and drove some bets for better physical demand from the top bullion consumer, but the risk of elevated US interest rates capped gains.

The per ounce price of gold in the international bullion market rose by $27 to settle at $1,837.

“The market is cautiously optimistic for a Chinese economic recovery following strong data which has put the dollar rally into reverse,” independent analyst Ross Norman said, adding that it was, in turn, boosting gold and risk-on assets.

Physical gold demand in the key hub has already picked up this year as COVID-19 restrictions were eased.

“Gold was clearly oversold and we’re seeing good bargain hunting on the lows, having found technical support at the $1,808 level … the market looks poised to firm but cautiously so, with US inflation-linked data being a constant driver,” Norman added.

Although traditionally considered an inflation hedge, higher interest rates to rein in consumer prices dim the appetite for bullion since it pays no interest.

Gold registered its worst month since June 2021 in February after a slew of US data pointed to a resilient economy and a tight labour market, sparking fears that the Federal Reserve would deliver more rate hikes to curb inflation.

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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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