Tag Archives: rate

German Merkel draft bill for national lockdown rules, curfew | Nation | Instant News

BERLIN – German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition has drafted a bill that would divert the power to impose restrictions on COVID-19 on the federal government away from regional leaders to combat a spike in infections.

Merkel’s government plans to impose a curfew from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. in areas where the seven-day infection rate exceeds 100 cases per 100,000 people for three consecutive days. All non-essential shops must close and companies will be required to test employees twice a week, according to a 13-page bill seen by Bloomberg. Schools will be closed again in areas with an incidence rate of more than 200.

Merkel moved forward with the controversial initiative after it became clear that the country’s 16 states could not agree on common ground. While the country’s leaders may try to soften a few steps before Tuesday’s cabinet approval, parliament could pass new laws as early as next Friday.

The proposal’s biggest hurdle is likely to be a vote in the upper house, where the state government is represented and Merkel’s Christian Democrat-led coalition government does not have a majority.

Merkel and regional prime ministers have clashed over lockdown restrictions since the start of the pandemic, and several failed to enforce the rules agreed with the chancellor. Regular meetings to set policies sometimes drag on, leaving citizens confused about which measures apply to their states.


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Gold exchange rate today in Pakistan – 02 April 2021 | Instant News

KARACHI – One tola 24 carat gold in Pakistan is selling for Rs 102,800 on Friday.

The price for 10 grams of 24k gold was Rs 88,140 at the close of the trade. Likewise, 10 grams of 22k gold is being traded for Rs. 80,795 at a price of 22k tola worth Rs. 94,235 at market close.

Important note: Gold prices in Pakistan fluctuate according to international markets so a price is never fixed. The prices below are provided by the local gold market and Sarafa Market in various cities.

City Gold Silver
Lahore PKR 102,800 PKR 1,380
Karachi PKR 102,800 PKR 1,380
Islamabad PKR 102,800 PKR 1,380
Peshawar PKR 102,800 PKR 1,380
Quetta PKR 102,800 PKR 1,380
Shit PKR 102,800 PKR 1,380
Attock PKR 102,800 PKR 1,380
Gujranwala PKR 102,800 PKR 1,380
Jehlum PKR 102,800 PKR 1,380
Multan PKR 102,800 PKR 1,380
Bahawalpur PKR 102,800 PKR 1,380
Gujrat PKR 102,800 PKR 1,380
Nawabshah PKR 102,800 PKR 1,380
Chakwal PKR 102,800 PKR 1,380
Hyderabad PKR 102,800 PKR 1,380
Nowshehra PKR 102,800 PKR 1,380
Sargodha PKR 102,800 PKR 1,380
Faisalabad PKR 102,800 PKR 1,380
Mirpur PKR 102,800 PKR 1,380


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The level of positivity for COVID-19 reaches 7.89 percent in the Federal capital | Instant News

Regarding the spike in COVID-19 cases in the Federal capital, the weekly number of positives reached an alarming 8.79 percent on Saturday.

Just a few months ago, in early January the weekly virus spread rate was around 1.57 percent, said the Islamabad District Health Officer. However, this is changing in the coming week with the uptrend at 2.47 pc.

Health authorities share concern over the uncontrolled increasing trend in the local spread of the global pandemic.

Also appearing earlier today from the Federal capital, Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan has tested positive for COVID-19, SAPM confirmed at Dr Faisal Sultan Health.

Dr Faisal Sultan in his tweet said that the prime minister has tested positive for COVID-19 and is self-isolating at home.

NCOC chief Asad Umar said that the prime minister was fine and he was infected with the virus before receiving the COVID vaccine shot. Responding to a question he said that the UK variant of COVID-19 was spreading sharply and urged the masses to ensure strict adherence to Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).


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SBP is ready to maintain interest rates due to continued economic constraints | Instant News

KARACHI: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) is likely to keep its policy rate on hold this week to continue to support an economy that is struggling with soaring coronavirus cases, and is wary of increasing inflationary pressures, analysts predicted on Tuesday.

The central bank kept interest rates unchanged at 7 percent for the third straight meeting in January after cutting them five times last year by a total of 625 basis points (bps).

The SBP Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) will meet to review interest rates on March 19 (Friday).

The majority of analysts surveyed view policy rates to remain stable in their upcoming meetings given the forward guidance provided by the MPC on monetary policy. The policymakers, in the last statement, clearly indicated to hold rates in the near term until there are clear signs that the economy is recovering.

“As the recovery becomes more resilient and the economy returns to full capacity, the MPC expects any adjustments in the policy rate to be measured and gradual to achieve somewhat positive real interest rates,” the SBP said in its January monetary policy statement.

However, the recent rise in T-bills and bond yields suggests investors are starting to anticipate monetary policy tightening sooner than anticipated to accommodate a potential spike in inflation.

Based on data on secondary market yields, the average yield has increased by 19 bps for short-term T-bills and 23 bps for long-term bonds.

The main cut yields for fixed-rate T-Bills and Pakistan Investment Bonds were up 51 bps and 131 bps, respectively.

Analysts agree that the supportive stance of the central bank is unlikely to remain in effect since May.

“After coaching, we hope there will be no change in rates through the T-bill and KIBOR [Karachi Interbank Offered Rate] published. Going forward because of the IMF [International Monetary Fund] conditions and rising commodity prices interest rates in Pakistan will gradually rise, “said Mohammed Sohail, CEO of Topline Securities.

The IMF and Pakistan reached a staff-level agreement on reforms that would allow an estimated $ 500 million to be disbursed. The IMF executive board is expected to approve a pending review of IMF-backed reforms later this month or possibly early next month.

International financial institutions such as the IMF and World Bank predict Pakistan’s economy will expand 0.5 percent to 1.5 percent in the current fiscal year. The SBP projects economic growth of 1.5-2.5 percent for this fiscal year. “I don’t expect any changes in the policy level. SBP must balance the risk of rising inflation with Covid and keep the economy going, “said Samiullah Tariq, head of research at Pak-Kuwait Investment Company.

Faizan Ahmed, head of research at BMA Capital, said the SBP was very clear in the forward guidance provided at the last MPC, so the rate is likely to remain intact at 7.0 percent in the MPC this month.

“However, rising inflation is indeed a challenge, but it is important to see how the SBP assesses the nature of the recent commodity boom and the risk of a more rapid increase in NFNE (non-food, non-energy) in the current environment.

He said the new round of lockdowns related to Covid was adding to the complications as NFNE had so far remained benign during the lockdown period.

Depending on commodity prices, inflation in FY2021 could exceed 9.0 percent year-on-year, above the upper level of the SBP inflation range of 7-9 percent, he said.

“The question is not whether SBP will raise interest rates or not because monetary adjustments are inevitable to return real interest rates to positive territory. The more relevant question is when did interest rates start to rise? “Said Ahmed.

“Looking at current data, the first rate hike may be in May 2021 and I expect the hike to be gradual as confirmed by the SBP in its last MPC,” he said and added, “So, a 50 bps hike in May was followed by a 50 bps increase in each. Successive MPC through December looks likely ”.

“This adds to the 200 bps cumulative increase in 2021 and will raise the policy rate to 9.0 percent, translating into a real rate of 1.5-0.5 percent based on the FY2022 inflation projection of 7.5-8.5 percent,” said Ahmed.

In a client note, Taurus Securities expects no change in the benchmark interest rate hike of 25 bps, based on inflationary pressures and the resumption of the IMF program.

The National Consumer Price Index for February was posted at 8.70% YoY and is expected to hover above 9% for March as well, according to recent forecasts.


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The spot price of cotton rose by Rs300 amid falling stocks | Instant News

KARACHI: Cotton prices remain stable in the local market over the coming week, even though spot prices have risen by Rs300 per maund, as fiber quantity has fallen drastically in the local market, traders told The News.

Prices on the international market continue to increase during the week. However, the New York Cotton Futures Market witnessed unusual price fluctuations during this period.

Stock with ginner is only about 0.115 million bales, while new arrivals take time, which suggests that cotton prices will not fall any time soon in the local market. Higher levels affect smaller plants. They will reduce the number of shifts or close for some time, said a trader.

The price of fiber on the international market is lower compared to Pakistan and a large mill may import lower priced fiber. Traders exporting wood fiber earned lower profits, as the dollar has depreciated on world markets, the trader said.

A factory that has not imported yet, has to import cotton at a price of Rs12,000 per maund, not Rs9,000 per maund.

In addition, the value-added textile sector and spinners have been involved in tug of war for several weeks. The value added sector said that they are not getting enough yarn from the local market to fill orders in the international market. They demanded duty free imported yarn.

However, All Pakistan Textile Manufacturers Association (APTMA) has dismissed their claim and said that a sufficient amount of yarn is available in the local market. APTMA said when cotton prices are higher in the market, they cannot sell the yarn at a lower price.

Analysts have suggested that APTMA and the value added sector should sit together to find a friendly solution. This will alleviate suffering on both sides, and allow the value added sector to fill its orders. Several factories that produced yarn and value-added goods had no problems at all.

Industry officials say that in addition to rising prices for cotton, prices for petroleum products have also risen, which affects polyester fibers and the price of yarn made from them.

Cotton prices in Sindh have remained between Rs10,300 and Rs12,500 per maund. Lint from Punjab fetches Rs12,000 to Rs12,500 per maund, while some deals on credit are made for Rs12,700 to Rs13,000 per maund. Cotton stocks have ended up at several stations in Punjab.

The Karachi Cotton Association’s Spot Rate Committee raised the spot rate by Rs300 per maund to Rs12,300 per maund.

Karachi Cotton Broker Forum Chairman Naseem Usman said cotton prices in the international market also rose. Prices have increased in Brazil, Argentina, Central Asia, India and Australia, which are cotton producing countries. Cotton stocks and production worldwide decreased this season.


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