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Shares at PSX reverse trend after yesterday’s hammering

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Shares at PSX reverse trend after yesterday’s hammering

The benchmark KSE-100 index rose 448.88 points, or 1.17 per cent, to close at 38,791.09 points. It reached an intraday high of 38,945.97 points, up 603.76 points, or 1.57pc, around 3:28pm.

“The market was in the oversold territory after the sharp correction earlier in the week, so a pullback is not a major surprise,” said Intermarket Security’s Head of Equity Raza Jafri.

He said the market also received a boost from State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Jameel Ahmad’s assurance that opening of letters of credit (LCs) would be facilitated in a better manner.

“For the market to rise higher though, further clarity on politics and more comfort on the economy is a must,” Jafri added.

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Topline Securities Senior Manager Equity Mohammad Arbash attributed the index’s recovery to the SBP governor’s assurance of inflows and a stop to the rapid decline in foreign exchange reserves.

He added that the pressure caused by a sell-off by mutual fund managers and institutions also eased and a buying spree in the refinery and technology sectors at the lower level led to the index’s rise.

“Stocks showed a strong recovery in the earnings season on SBP chief’s affirmation over easing forex crisis in the coming days and institutional interest in oversold scrips,” commented Arif Habib Corporation’s Ahsan Mehanti.

He noted that mid-session pressure remained because of political uncertainty and a delay in the disbursement of a $1.1 billion loan by the World Bank. However, investor speculations over imminent inflows from the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia for financial support played a catalyst role in the bullish close, he added.

Pakistan secured a lifeline of about $4bn from the UAE and Saudi Arabia last week to sail through the immediate challenge of a sovereign default amid rapidly shrinking foreign exchange reserves, massive flood damages and an overall economic slowdown.

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Two separate official announcements said the UAE pledged to roll over $2bn debt payable over the next two months and topped this with an additional $1bn support.

Separately, the Saudi Fund for Development signed an agreement in Islamabad to fund $1bn worth of oil imports on deferred payment.

A day earlier, the index plunged by 1,378.54 points, or 3.47pc, to close at 38,342.21 points, its lowest level since July 27, 2020.

Yesterday’s sell-off marked the highest one-day slide since June 24, 2022, according to Arif Habib Limited.

Analysts have attributed the index’s recent decline to the increasing political uncertainty as two provincial assemblies have been dissolved as part of the opposition’s strategy to force early general elections.

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Meanwhile, the country’s forex situation has worsened with the SBP’s reserves falling to $4.34 billion, the lowest since February 2014.

The country has been facing a serious dollar shortage, which is resulting in restricted imports of even food and industrial raw materials. The latest position of foreign exchange reserves reflects that the country doesn’t have sufficient dollars to cover even one month of average imports.

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Gold prices decrease by Rs4,000 to Rs204,500 per tola

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Gold prices decrease by Rs4,000 to Rs204,500 per tola

The per tola price of 24 karat gold decreased by Rs.4,000 on Saturday and was traded at Rs.204,500 against sale at Rs.208,500 the last trading day.

The price of 10 grams of 24 karat gold also decreased by Rs.3,429 to Rs.175,326 against Rs.178,755, whereas that of 10 grams of 22 karat declined to Rs.160,715 from Rs.163,858, All Sindh Sarafa Jewellers Association reported.

The price of one tola silver decreased by Rs.100 to Rs.2250 whereas that of ten gram silver declined by Rs85.74 to Rs.1,929.

The price of gold in the international market decreased by US$46 to US$ 1,865 as compared to its sale at US$1,911 on the last trading day

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G7-led coalition sets price cap on Russian oil products

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G7-led coalition sets price cap on Russian oil products

The Group of Seven rich nations, the European Union and Australia have set price caps for Russian diesel and other refined petroleum products to keep markets supplied while limiting Moscow’s revenues when an EU embargo kicks in.

The EU measure, which takes effect on Feb. 5, follows an earlier EU embargo on Russian seaborne crude, for which the bloc, the G7 and Australia set a crude price cap at $60 per barrel from Dec. 5.

The coalition aims to punish Russia over its invasion of Ukraine almost a year ago by depriving it of revenue from its oil and products exports, while averting a surge in prices that could occur if Russian oil stopped flowing to global markets.

Envisioned as a safety valve from the EU ban, which covers insuring and shipping Russian oil and therefore risks snarling the entire global trade, the price cap mechanisms would allow such services provided they occur below an enforced price.

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Below are the main elements of how the embargo on Russian refined products is supposed to work:

PRICE CAP

The coalition on Friday said it had set the price caps at $100 per barrel on products that trade at a premium to crude, principally diesel, and $45 per barrel for products that trade at a discount, such as fuel oil and naphtha. That was in line with the levels suggested by the European Commission.

The price caps on petroleum products will be implemented on Feb. 5 or “very soon thereafter,” the coalition said in a statement. Participating countries said they would include “time-limited exceptions” for products that are loaded onto a vessel prior to Feb. 5.

WHAT IS PROHIBITED

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The EU ban bars EU vessels from carrying Russian-origin petroleum products, unless the products are purchased at or below the price cap agreed by the coalition.

The provision also applies to companies that provide technical, brokering or financial assistance such as insurance for cargoes carrying Russian refined products.

PENALTIES

If a vessel sailing under the flag of a third party intentionally carries Russian oil above the price cap, EU operators will be prohibited from insuring, financing and servicing the vessel for 90 days after the cargo has been unloaded.

EU-flagged vessels will be subject to penalties according to national legislation, but the EU is working on a penalty of 5% of global turnover for companies that break EU sanctions.

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NEXT STEPS

The G7 coalition said it would review the Dec. 5 crude oil price cap in March.

Decisions on any changes would be driven by technical analysis by groups such as the International Energy Agency, while factoring in the impact on Russian oil revenues. 

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Argentina likely to see inflation tick up this year -analysts

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Argentina likely to see inflation tick up this year -analysts

Analysts consulted by Argentina’s central bank expect surging consumer prices to rise slightly this year, the bank said on Friday, which would mark a second straight year of near triple-digit inflation for South America’s second-biggest economy.

Consumer prices are seen rising by an annual rate of 97.6% in 2023, according to the analyst poll commissioned by the Argentine monetary authority (BCRA), compared to last year’s rate of 94.8%.

The bank’s latest REM survey compares to a December forecast of a 98.4% inflation rate by the end of this year.

The government of embattled President Alberto Fernandez sees creeping annual inflation for 2023 significantly lower, at just 60%, according to a budget projection.

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The survey’s inflation forecast sees some relief by 2024, however, with prices rising by 79.6%, but up from its previous estimate of 75%.
Suffering through a prolonged economic crisis marked by a massive debt load, chronic deficit spending and the steady erosion of the local peso currency, Argentines live with one of the world’s highest inflation rates, second only to Venezuela in Latin America.

Earlier this week, the BCRA announced it will roll out a new 2,000-peso bill, double the face value of its largest current bank note.

The analysts surveyed expect January’s inflation rate to come in at 5.6%. The monthly rise in prices last December stood at 5.1%, according to the official IPC price index.

Expectations of economic growth this year remain unchanged at 0.5%, according to the survey, while the official exchange rate is seen ending the year at 327.75 per U.S. dollar.

That would mark a 74% weakening of the tightly controlled official exchange rate, compared to its current value of about 188 pesos per greenback.

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The REM survey interviewed 40 experts from Jan. 27-31, including consultants, financial institutions and research centers.

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