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Gold registers minimal decline on rupee appreciation

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Gold prices in Pakistan registered losses following the rupee’s appreciation against the dollar as the supply of the greenback increased the in the local market.

The price of gold (24 carats) decreased by Rs200 per tola and Rs172 per 10 grams to settle at Rs197,500 and Rs169,324, respectively, according to All-Pakistan Sarafa Gems and Jewellers Association (APSGJA).

Cumulatively, the yellow metal has shed Rs2,500 per tola during the ongoing week — and it has only registered gains once as the movement of Pakistani currency remains volatile.

The precious metal scaled an all-time high of 210,500 per tola on January 30, 2023; however, its price started receding after the situation became virtually better on hopes of revival of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout programme.

Meanwhile, gold price in the international market edged up but was on track for a weekly fall as prospects of further interest rate hikes dented its allure, while traders awaited a US non-farm payrolls report due later in the day.

The price settled at $1,834 per ounce after registering a handsome gain of $15.

Powell showed determination to control stubbornly high inflation, saying that rates would be likely to rise faster and reach higher than previously expected, a scenario that creates a downside for gold, Ricardo Evangelista, senior analyst at ActivTrades, said.

Bullion is known as an inflation hedge, but rising rates increase the opportunity cost of holding the non-yielding asset.

“The yellow metal has strong technical support near $1,810-$1,790 an ounce and we may see a bounce back to $1,875 next week,” said Jigar Trivedi, an analyst with Mumbai-based Reliance Securities.

Investor focus shifts to US non-farm payrolls data due at 1330 GMT for further clues on the Fed’s rate-hike path. The report is expected to show that non-farm payrolls increased by 205,000 in February, according to economists polled by Reuters.

If the data is weak, then gold could benefit and might rise to the $1,850-$1,860 range, said Carlo Alberto De Casa, an external analyst at Kinesis Money. 

It should be noted that Pakistan meets almost all its gold demand through imports, and traders follow its international price in setting rates in the country. Jewellers import the metal against the US dollar and UAE dirham before converting its price into rupees.

Meanwhile, silver prices in the domestic market remained unchanged at Rs2,120 per tola and Rs1,817.55 per 10 grams, respectively.

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Tourism boom: During Eidul Azha, more than 400,000 people travel to KP

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Over 400,000 people travelled to several beautiful locations in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa between June 17 and June 19, celebrating the recently ended Eidul Azha festivities.

With over 174,000 visitors in one day, Naran Kaghan emerged as the most popular location. Visitors looking for a getaway from the city are still drawn to Naran Kaghan’s calm scenery and charming valleys.

A total of 162,000 visitors to Galiyat took in the city’s rich history at its cultural institutions and historical landmarks. In addition, more than 46,000 people visited Malam Jabba in Swat, and 23,000 people visited Upper Dir to take in its stunning surroundings.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is becoming a popular domestic vacation destination due to its unique combination of natural beauty, cultural legacy, and adventure options, as seen by the rise in visitor numbers.

Businesses and local government agencies have been collaborating to make sure tourists have an unforgettable time while appropriately handling the inflow.

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Pakistan currently has $14.41 billion in foreign exchange reserves.

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In a statement, the central bank stated that as of June 14, 2024, Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) stood at $9.135 billion, following the increase.

The announcement also stated, “SBP reserves increased by US$ 31 million to US$ 9,134.7 million during the week ended on June 14, 2024.”

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) stated that the nation had $14.415 billion in total liquid foreign reserves. Commercial banks own $5.28 billion of the total in net foreign reserves.

It was announced earlier on June 13 that Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves reached US$14.38 billion, up US$168 million in the first week of June.

Pakistan’s reserves held by commercial banks rose by US$174 million to $5.28 billion for the week that ended on June 7, according to a statement released by the central bank.

The SBP now has US$9.10 billion in reserves, down US$6.2 million from before. The central bank did not provide an explanation for why its reserves fell.

“SBP reserves decreased by US$ 6 million to US$ 9,103.3 million during the week ended on July 7, 2024,” the SBP said in a statement.

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In a first for history, PSX crosses the 77,000 milestone.

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At 77,213.31, the benchmark KSE-100 hit an all-time high, up 1,005.15, or 1.32%, from the previous close of 76,208.16.

The government’s readiness to seal an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) following the budget was cited by analysts as the reason for the upward trend.

Experts anticipate that in an attempt to bolster its position for a fresh bailout agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the budget for the fiscal year ending in June 2025 would set aggressive fiscal goals.

Budget for Pakistan, 2024–2025
Pakistan’s budget for the fiscal year 2024–25, with a total expenditure of Rs18.877 trillion, was presented on Wednesday by Minister of Finance and Revenue Muhammad Aurangzeb.

The Finance Minister, Muhammad Aurangzeb, outlined the budget highlights. He stated that the GDP growth target for the fiscal year 2024–25 is set at 3.6 percent, while the inflation rate is anticipated to stay at 12 percent.

He stated that while the primary surplus is anticipated to be 1.0 percent of GDP during the review period, the budget deficit to GDP is forecast to be 6.9 percent over the period under review.

According to the minister, tax income collection increased by 38% in the current fiscal year, and the province will receive Rs7,438 billion. The Federal Board of income expects to earn Rs12,970 billion in revenue for the upcoming fiscal year.

In contrast to the federal government’s projected net income of Rs9,119 billion, he stated that the federation’s non-tax revenue projections are set at Rs3,587 billion.

The federal government’s total outlays are projected to be Rs18,877 billion, with interest payments accounting for the remaining Rs9,775 billion.

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