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Rupee’s clawback against US dollar persists

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  • Local unit closes at Rs220.65 against dollar.
  • Rupee gains on expectations of a fresh loan tranche from IMF.
  • Analysts anticipate rupee will rise further.

KARACHI: October’s best-performing currency continued to gain against the US dollar Tuesday on expectations of a fresh loan tranche from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

According to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the local unit gained Rs0.24, or 0.11%, against the greenback in the interbank market, closing at 220.65 compared to Monday’s close of 220.89.

Rupee regained ground following a decline in the Real Effective Exchange Rate (REER) index in September and on expectations of a fresh loan tranche from the Washington-based lender.

REER index depreciated to 90.9 in September, compared with 94.4 in the previous month, the State Bank of Pakistan reported on Sunday. The REER index shows the rupee might strengthen further in the coming days.

In addition, the expectation that Pakistan would meet its obligations to pay off its foreign debt on schedule contributed to a surge in the price of Pakistani sovereign bonds, which helped buoy sentiments regarding the local unit.

Analysts anticipate that the rupee will rise further as soon as World Bank inflows begin coming in as well. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is in Beijing to hold talks on the rollover of Chinese loans, which now total $26.7 billion and include public and publicly guaranteed debt.

From Asia’s worst to best-performing currency

The Pakistani rupee had one of the strongest performances in Asia in October, rising by 3.3% against the dollar.

The Pakistani currency was closely followed by the Singapore dollar which appreciated by 1.38%, the Philippine peso (1.15%), and South Korean won (0.46%).

The rupee had a successful month. In October, the rupee value increased by 3.3%, said Topline Securities, which cited statistics from Bloomberg. The rupee was one of the best-performing currencies in Asia, it added.

After hitting historic lows in value in both July and August, the rupee suddenly began to appreciate in the final week of September. It started appreciating following the start of Ishaq Dar’s fourth term as Pakistan’s finance minister.

However, the local unit was under pressure on account of the political unrest brought on by the start of the PTI-long march towards Islamabad.

The rupee was able to gain ground thanks to Dar’s recent warning to speculators about currency manipulation and the decline of the REER.

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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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