Gold snaps rally in tandem with international rout

Gold bullion bars are pictured after being inspected and polished at a refinery. — AFP/File
Gold bullion bars are pictured after being inspected and polished at a refinery. — AFP/File

Gold hit a bump in the road Saturday after international precious metal markets succumbed to a hawkish US central bank stance, while a stronger dollar, which makes bullion imports more expensive for a country with a weak currency, also weighed. 

Data released by the All-Pakistan Sarafa Gems and Jewellers Association (APSGJA) showed that the price of gold (24 carats) decreased by Rs4,000 per tola and Rs3,429 per 10 grams to settle at Rs204,500 and Rs175,326, respectively.

Cumulatively, the gold lost Rs4,500 or 2.15% per tola during the week. It is worth mentioning that the precious commodity hit an all-time high of Rs210,500 on Monday.

Bullion in the world markets lost over 2% on Friday to an over three-week low after stronger-than-anticipated US employment numbers stoked fears the US Federal Reserve might extend its monetary tightening drive.

The fall follows the non-stop gains the gold made for three consecutive sessions amid depleting forex reserves and a weak rupee which make the precious metal costlier as Pakistan meets all of its bullion demand through imports.

Due to foreign debt payments, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP)-held reserves fell $592 million to $3,086.2 million during the week ended on January 27, their lowest since February 2014, and are barely enough to provide import cover for 18.5 days (0.61 months).

Spot gold dipped 2.6% to $1,863.66 per ounce by 1:40 p.m. ET (1840 GMT). U.S. gold futures settled down 2.8% to $1,876.6.

Bullion is down 2.5% so far this week, marking its biggest weekly fall since early October, with prices having fallen nearly $100 in two sessions.

Meanwhile, silver prices in the domestic market decreased by Rs100 per tola and Rs85.74 per 10 grams to settle at Rs2,250 and Rs1,929, respectively.

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