Gold surges to six-week high at Rs71,700 per tola.


KARACHI -- Gold prices shot up by Rs600 per tola (11.66 grams) to a six-week high at Rs71,700 in Pakistan after the government let the rupee depreciate by 3.6% on Thursday.

'The rupee depreciation has made import of gold expensive as Pakistan does not produce the commodity and meet local requirement through imports,' All Sindh Saraf and Jewellers Association (ASSJA) President Haroon Rashid Chand told The Express Tribune.

The association has revised up gold prices in the country, though the yellow metal has gone down in world markets. Bullion dropped $3 per ounce (31.10 grams) to a one-week low at $1,295 in the London market, he said.

'We have not fully passed on the impact of rupee depreciation to avoid a slowdown in sales in local markets. Despite this, we witnessed almost no sales throughout the day,' he said. 'I have not seen such a worse business day throughout my life,' the 74-year-old said. 'Had we fully passed on the impact of rupee depreciation, the price of gold would have surpassed the all-time high of Rs72,200 per tola hit at the outset of previous month.'

Gold price surges Rs700 per tola to Rs70,700

He claimed that gold in Pakistan was cheaper by Rs1,500-1,600 per tola compared to the Dubai market. 'Situations like this lead to gold smuggling. There are chances smugglers would have become active,' he pointed out. He said the rupee depreciation had badly impacted the gold and gold-made jewellery business in Pakistan.

Pakistan remains a relatively small bullion market which largely relies on imports. The association issues gold prices every day after incorporating factors like bullion prices in world markets, movement in the US dollar in international and domestic markets and demand and supply of gold in domestic markets.

'There was a time when 40,000 tolas of gold were sold per day some seven to eight years ago. These were our good days,' the president of the association said. 'The turnover has now gone down to mere 7,000-8,000 tolas per day these days.'

He revealed that hundreds of jewellery-making...

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