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Oil prices jump 3% ahead of OPEC+ meeting to discuss supply cuts

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  • Brent crude gains $2.73 to $91.59 a barrel. 
  • Oil rises on prospect of big crude output cut.
  • Weakening US dollar boosts oil.

NEW YORK: Oil prices rose by 3% on Tuesday on expectations of a large cut in crude output from the OPEC+ producer group, and support from a weaker US dollar.

The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, known as OPEC+, look set to cut output when they meet on Wednesday. The move would squeeze supply in an oil market that energy company executives and analysts say is already tight due to healthy demand, a lack of investment and supply problems.

Brent crude gained $2.73, or 3.1%, to $91.59 a barrel at 1:35 p.m. EDT (1735 GMT). US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was up $2.76, or 3.3%, to $86.39.

Sources from the group have said OPEC+, which includes Russia, is discussing output cuts in excess of one million barrels per day (bpd). Oil extended gains after Bloomberg reported that OPEC+ was considering a two million bpd cut.

“We expect a substantial cut to be made, which will not only help to tighten the physical fundamentals but sends an important signal to the market,” Fitch Solutions said in a note.

Kuwait’s oil minister said OPEC+ would make a suitable decision to guarantee energy supply and to serve the interests of producers and consumers.

Production target

OPEC+ has boosted output this year after record cuts put in place in 2020 when the pandemic slashed demand.

In recent months, the group has failed to meet its planned output increases, missing in August by 3.6 million bpd.

The production target cut being considered is justified by the sharp decline in oil prices from recent highs, said Goldman Sachs, adding that this reinforced its bullish outlook on oil.

Also boosting oil prices, the US dollar was headed for a fifth daily loss against a basket of currencies as investors speculated that the US Federal Reserve might slow its interest rate hikes.

“There’s no doubt that there’s underlying support from a weak dollar and the potential for a Fed pivot,” said Bob Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho in New York.

Meanwhile, a senior US Treasury official said G7 sanctions on Russia will be implemented in three phases, first targeting Russian oil, then diesel and then lower-value products such as naphtha.

Sanctions from the G7 and the European Union, which is opting for a two-phase ban, are set to begin on December 5.

Swiss lender UBS said it sees several factors that could send crude prices higher toward year-end, including “recovering Chinese demand, OPEC+ further supply cut, the end of the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) release and the upcoming EU ban on Russian crude exports”.

Top oil traders also said at the Argus European Crude Conference in Geneva on Tuesday that economic headwinds have not yet caused significant erosion of global oil demand.

US crude oil stocks were estimated to have increased by about 2 million barrels in the week to Sept. 30, a preliminary Reuters poll showed on Monday.

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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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