KARACHI: One-tola and 10-gram local gold prices increased to an all-time high of Rs93,650 and Rs80,290, showing a jump of Rs1,150 and Rs986 from Thursday following $23 per ounce jump in world rate to $1,635 due to new coronavirus cases in South Korea.
The last peaks of Rs93,400 and Rs80,075 for one tola and 10g were recorded on Jan 6 when international bullion rate swelled by $26 per ounce to $1,578 on worsening tensions between the US and Iran after General Qassem Soleimani’s assasination.
Gold prices have been on the upward trajectory for over a year now. Since Jan 1, 2019, one-tola and 10g rates for the yellow metal have risen by Rs25,850 and Rs22,162 on increase of $352 per ounce from Rs67,800, Rs58,128, $1,283, respectively.
According to BIPL Securities, gold prices hit their highest in seven years on Friday and were set to post best week in one-and-a-half months as demand for the safe-haven asset was boosted by a surge in new coronavirus cases in South Korea.
South Korea reported 52 new cases of the virus, taking the national total to 156, while Japan reported the first fatalities from aboard a cruise ship that accounts for the biggest cluster of infections outside China.
All Sindh Sarafa Jewellers Association (ASSJA) President Haji Haroon Rasheed Chand said rising domestic gold prices had already taken away jewellery buyers from the markets as they could not afford it owing to rising costs. He claimed that investors in Pakistan have also been on the sidelines.
According to him, gold is selling under cost by Rs2,000 per tola as compared to prices prevailing in Dubai.
All Pakistan Jewellers Association (APJA) Chairman Mohammad Arshad said jewellery shops wear a deserted look during peak marriage season as buyers are perturbed over sky rocketing prices.
He said some well-off families used to make bridal set of 50-80 grams few years back daughters and now they struggle to buy even 20-30g set.
Those who cannot afford are bringing old jewellery sets to turn them into designs, Arshad claimed.
As per figures of the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), import of gold during 7MFY20 declined to 240kg ($10 million) from 248kg ($9.7m) in same period last year. The country’s jewellery exports also fell by 17pc to $2.8m during the period under review from $3.4m.
Published in Dawn, February 22nd, 2020