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No respite: Rupee continues to weaken against dollar, closes at 236.84

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  • Rupee has been under renewed pressure against US dollar this month.
  • It has lost 8.66 against the greenback during the week.
  • Market experts believe this is primarily due to strengthening US dollar index.

KARACHI: The Pakistani rupee continued to weaken against the US dollar on Friday as high demand for the greenback kept the local unit under pressure.

The local currency registered a decline for the 11th consecutive session, closing the week at 236.84 against the greenback after losing nearly Re1 or 0.41%. The dollar now stands only Rs3.1 short of the all-time high level of Rs239.94 on July 28, 2022.

The rupee has been under renewed pressure against the US dollar this month. Market experts believe this is primarily due to the strengthening US dollar index, alongside a rise in the import of food-related items.

The rupee — which has been continuously losing its value despite the revival of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme — weakening streak can be attributed to a host of reasons including low dollar inflows amid pressure for import and debt servicing.

Moreover, political uncertainty is also impacting the rupee value. Pakistan has not been able to receive financing from multilateral financial institutions, despite securing the funding from IMF last month, which has been putting pressure on the country’s forex reserves — which dipped $176 million, clocking in at $8.62 billion as of September 9, 2022.

However, it is not just the rupee, leading currencies of the world have also lost value against the US dollar in recent times, which was also affecting the Pakistani currency.

Foreign exchange reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) dipped by $176 million.

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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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