Friday Mar 10 2023

Gold registers minimal decline on rupee appreciation

Gold bars from the vault of a bank are seen in this illustration picture taken in Zurich, on November 20, 2014. — Reuters
Gold bars from the vault of a bank are seen in this illustration picture taken in Zurich, on November 20, 2014. — Reuters

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.

— Additional input from Reuters