Gold soars to five-year high

KARACHI: The one-tola and 10-gram gold price on Saturday hit five-year peak of Rs59,450 and Rs50,957 after rising by Rs400 and Rs343 due to $8 per ounce hike in world gold price to $1,346 on Friday. On March 27, the one-tola and 10-gram gold rate touched Rs59,200 and Rs50,742 based on world gold price of $1,348 per ounce. On Jan 1, All Sindh Sarafa Association (ASSA) quoted rates of Rs48,171 per 10-gram and Rs56,200 per tola while the world bullion rate was $1,304 per ounce. From January till to date, the one-tola price has swelled by Rs3,250 and 10-gram by Rs2,786 followed by $42 per ounce rise in international yellow metal price. According to BIPL Research, gold edged up on Friday after posting its biggest percentage fall in over two weeks in the previous session and was set to post a small gain for a second week running amid tensions over Syria and a US-China trade stand-off. Haji Haroon Rasheed Chand, chairman of the ASSA, claimed that “the current bullion rate is the highest in the last five years.” He recalled that five years back the one-tola rate was Rs63,500 when one dollar was less than Rs100 and world gold price was $1,600 per ounce. Now the international rate is lower by $254 per ounce than five years back but one dollar is equal to Rs116. Local rates do not reflect the change in world prices. Sometimes world prices go up but domestic rates are fixed on lower side. Giving the reason, he said fluctuation in the rupee-dollar parity plays a big role in determining local prices depending on international price movement. He said sales of jewellery for marriage purposes have been going normal despite rising prices, but will slow down in Ramazan starting from third week of next month. On investment trend, he said people are investing in gold, dollar and property. According to figures of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), import of gold rose to 326kg ($13 million) in July-February 2017-18 from 278-kg ($10m) in same period last year. Jewellery exports in the same period increased to $4.8m in July-Feb 2017-18 from $4m in the corresponding period of last year, up by 19pc. Published in Dawn, April 15th, 2018

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