Oil prices fell sharply today, with crude oil near an 18 year low and Brent hitting its lowest since November 2002, as the global coronavirus pandemic worsens. Saudi Arabia-Russia price war shows no signs of abating which could also be one of the possible reasons behind. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell as far as $19.92, near an 18-year low hit earlier this month, and was last trading down 3.77%, or $20.70 a barrel.
The US dollar touched eight-month high against rupee and rose by Rs3 to Rs162 in the opening hours of the interbank market on Wednesday. According to market sources, the increase in dollar’s value can be attributed to the central bank’s Tuesday night decision to cut the monetary policy rate, bringing it down to 11%.
The State Bank of Pakistan cut its key interest rate by 75 basis points to 12.50% on Tuesday. The central bank cited deceleration in domestic food prices as the reason for cutting the policy rate. SBP said that the outlook on the headline inflation, a measure of the total inflation including commodities such as food and energy prices, remains within its earlier forecast range of 11% to 12%
The Ministry of Commerce, in collaboration with NADRA, has launched an e-Business Visa Invitation Letter System (E-BIL) in a bid to ease business. Chambers and Trade Associations can e-file applications for business visas on arrival for nationals of 190 countries. The applications will be processed in 48-78 hrs. The E-BIL is launched to facilitate all potential foreigners interested in exploring business opportunities in Pakistan.
A Chinese mobile manufacturing company in partnership with a Pakistani manufacturer plans to produce 49% of mobile phone parts in Pakistan in the next three years. It was announced by the Federal Economic Affairs Minister Hammad Azhar on Wednesday after meeting Transsion Tecno CEO Aamir Allawala on Wednesday. Transsion Tecno is a joint partnership between Transsion Holdings China and Tecno Pack Pakistan.
Pakistan is planning to remove duties on many imported raw materials used by exporters, according to commerce and investment adviser to Pakistan’s prime minister, Abdul Razak Dawood. This will make them more regionally competitive and help the economy escape a recurring boom-bust cycle. Dawood mentioned that last year import duty was slashed on more than 1600 products and will further be eliminated in this year’s budget.
Information technology (IT) companies are shifting from Sindh to other provinces owing to high tax rates in the province. This was revealed by the Federal Secretary for the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication (MoITT) Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui while he was briefing the Senate Standing Committee on Information Technology and Telecommunication.
Manufacturing partner of Apple, Foxconn reported its biggest monthly drop in revenue in about seven years as the coronavirus outbreak continued to play havoc with its business. The Taiwanese company, which assembles Apple’s (AAPL.O) iPhones, saw revenue sink 18.1% in February compared with a year earlier – the biggest monthly fall since March 2013 and the third straight month of decline. It warned the coronavirus epidemic would hit its bottom line in the first quarter.
The KSE-100 index recovered 1312 points, closing at 39,296 on Monday, this marked the highest intra-day positive change of 3.34% since May 22, 2019. Analysts have cited a number of positive developments in the region to explain the recovery. Of them, the US-Afghan peace deal is being dubbed a key factor, while the cut in inflation rates and oil fuel prices are also said to be a reason.
The federal government has imposed a ban on the export of onions and red chillies with immediate effect till May 31, as revealed in a notification. The decision to impose a ban was taken by the cabinet in the Economic Coordination Committee meeting on February 19. However, the decsion would cost millions of dollars to fruit and vegetables exporters.